The IRS has granted an automatic extension for a portion of 2016 ACA reporting:
- The due date for giving the 1095-C to employees is automatically extendedfrom January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. No application is needed for this extension.
- The due date for electronic filing of the 1094-C and bundled 1095-C forms with the government is not extended. It continues to be March 31, 2017 for electronic filers. A process for extending that filing is available by filing Form 8809. You can get up to two automatic 30 day extensions if you file before the due date.
Best news of all: “Good faith” errors in employer reporting of 2016 data will not be penalized. That “good faith” standard was supposed to apply only to 2015 reporting, and is a special relief.
The big question, of course, is whether the new Republican government eliminates the ACA employer and employee penalties and, if it does so, whether it does that retroactively to 2016. If those penalties are eliminated retroactively, there would obviously be no need for the reporting.
Stay tuned. Everyone in benefits will have their ear to the ground on this. For the time being, we recommend that we continue to proceed as if the law, with these extensions, stays in effect.