On November 22, 2021, the IRS released a proposed rule that would extend the annual furnishing deadlines for Sections 6055 and 6056 reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This proposed rule would essentially make permanent the furnishing deadline extension that has been provided for each prior year of ACA reporting. Specifically, the proposed rule would:
- Extend the due date for furnishing statements to individuals under Sections 6055 and 6056 by 30 days from January 31 each year; and
- Provide additional penalty relief related to furnishing statements to individuals under Section 6055 for every year in which the individual mandate penalty is zero. Under this relief, employers would generally only have to provide Form 1095-B to covered individuals upon request.
The proposed rule also provides that transitional good-faith relief from penalties for the reporting of incorrect or incomplete information on information returns or statements that has been provided in past years is not available for reporting for tax year 2021 and subsequent years. This good-faith relief was intended to be transitional to accommodate public concerns with implementing new reporting requirements under the ACA. These reporting requirements have now been in place for six (6) years, and the IRS has determined that transitional relief is no longer appropriate. Therefore, the IRS has discontinued the transitional good-faith relief after tax year 2020.
Next Steps for Employers
Because this rule is in proposed form and has not been finalized, the general furnishing deadline of January 31 continues to apply, and, even if the rule is finalized, reporting entities are generally encouraged to furnish statements to individuals as soon as they are able.