Welcome to MSEC’s weekly ACA FAQ on reporting. While details on how to complete IRS forms 1094 and 1095 (such as what codes to use on specific lines of the form) will not be covered, general questions on reporting requirements will be answered. For detailed information on form completion, contact your broker, tax advisor, payroll company, or insurance carrier. If you have a general ACA reporting question, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The most commonly asked questions will be answered in this forum. In addition, the Health Care Reform Learning Zone, found on the MSEC website (msec.org), is a rich source of information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Q: What are the deadlines to file the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) report (§ 6055) and the Applicable Large Employer (ALE) report (§ 6056)?
Both reports have the same filing deadlines. Due dates in all cases are for the year following the calendar year for which data are reported. If the regular due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the report must be filed or furnished by the next business day.
- Due to IRS:
- If reporting on paper: February 28. This deadline applies regardless of plan year.
- If reporting electronically: March 31. If filing 250 or more returns, the filing must be done electronically. Information on filing the returns electronically can be found at the ACA Information Returns (AIR) website here. Registration is required in order to file electronically and is a several-step process that includes information being sent by U.S. Mail. Electronic filers should begin the registration process early to ensure the March 31 deadline is met. Registration information is available here.
- Due to Employee:
- On or before January 31. Paper statements must be furnished by mail (or hand delivered) unless the employee consents to receive the statement in electronic format. For information on electronic statements please see the instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B on the IRS website.
Q: What are the penalties for failure to file the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) report (§ 6055) and the Applicable Large Employer (ALE) report (§ 6056)?
Two penalties may apply, which were increased significantly by the IRS in June 2015.
- Failure to file an information return with the IRS may result in a $250 per return penalty. Each 1095-C is counted as one return. Maximum cannot exceed $3,000,000.
- Failure to provide a correct payee statement to an individual may result in a $250 per statement penalty. Each 1095-C is counted as one payee statement. Maximum cannot exceed $3,000,000. Special rules may apply that can increase the per-statement penalty and total if there is intentional disregard of the requirement to furnish a payee statement.
Note that there could be a double impact to an employer who fails to submit a return to the IRS and fails to provide a statement to an employee.
The IRS states no penalty will be imposed for 2015 reporting on employers that can show they made a good-faith effort to comply with the reporting requirements. No relief is provided in the case of employers that do not make a good-faith effort to comply or that fail to timely file an information return or statement.