The ACA created new reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code Section 6055 and 6056. In a nutshell, these new reporting requirements require certain employers report information to the IRS on health coverage offered during the year. In addition, related statements must also be provided to individuals/employees.
On June 29th, President Obama signed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 into law which increases penalties for failure to file correct information returns or to provide individual statements under Section 6055 and/or Section 6056. The increased penalties are effective for information returns and individual statements required to be filed or provided after December 31, 2015.
There is transition relief in place for returns and statements filed and furnished in 2016 to report offers of coverage for 2015. The IRS will not impose penalties on reporting entities if they can show they made a good faith effort to comply with the information reporting requirements. This relief is provided only for correct or incomplete information reported on the return or statement – no relief is provided if a reporting entity does not make a good faith effort to comply or fails to file an information return or provide an individual statement on time.
It’s important to note that Section 6055 & Section 6056 requirements take effect for the 2015 calendar year (regardless of whether you have a non-calendar year plan) – with the first returns and statements due in early 2016. This means that if your organization must comply with this reporting requirement, you will need to collect and record information now in 2015 in order to prepare for the filing deadlines in 2016.
Remember to keep health care reform compliance focused on your radar.