The IRS has extended the due date for ACA related statements 1095-B and 1095-C to be given to individuals. IRS Notice 2016-70 extends the due date for these forms from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. Note that the due date to provide these forms to the IRS has not changed, that date remains February 28, 2017.

This will apply to insurers, self-insuring employers, and applicable large employers. Form 195-B reports Health Coverage, while form 1095-C relates to Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.

The IRS stated that “Following consultation with stakeholders, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Service have determined that a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time beyond the January 31, 2017, due date to gather and analyze the information and prepare the 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to be furnished to individuals.” The notice further stated that the IRS will not great further extensions beyond the extended due date. Failure to meet the deadline will result in penalties for failure to timely furnish and file.

This has the potential to delay the filing of individual tax returns. However, the Notice stated that taxpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns confirming that they had minimum essential coverage funder existing legislation. Taxpayers do not need to wait to receive Forms 1095-B and 1095-C before filing their returns. Individuals need not send the information relied upon to the Service when filing their returns but should keep it with their tax records. If such other information is available and individuals do not need the Form in order to file, one wonders why is the Form needed.

The takeaway from this is that:

1) Employers and those filing forms 1095-A and 1095-B have additional time to provide the form to covered individuals and

2) Not having the Form in hand should not delay the individual from filing his or her return.