IRS Releases 1094-C / 1095-C Forms for 2019 Tax Year
From explanations of forms to 2020 deadlines - and everything in between - here's what you need to know.
To stay ACA compliant in regards to the IRS Form 1095-C, there are a number of things employers need to know. We'll break them down for you here.
Let's start at the beginning: what are 1094-C/1095-Cs?
Beginning in 2016, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, employers with more than 50 full-time employees are required to produce and send a second government form to employees -- the Form 1095-C. Its main purpose is to communicate health insurance information and must be maintained for employee tax records.
Check out the recently released Form 1095-C for the 2019 tax year here.
In addition to filing a 1095-C, employers are also required to file a 1094-C, which is basically just the cover sheet for all of an organization's 1095-C forms (you must file one 1094-C per tax ID). Unlike 1095-Cs which are distributed to employees, 1094-Cs are solely filled with the IRS. The form requires basic information, such as the number of employees at an organization and how many 1095-Cs are being filed.
Check out the recently released Form 1094-C for the 2019 tax year here.
What are the deadlines I need to know?
Now that you understand the basics of 1094-C/1095-Cs, let's jump into the specifics for the 2019 tax year. The below are key filing dates to mark on your 2020 calendar.
Key Filing Dates:
- Distributed to employees by March 2, 2020
- Sent to the IRS in paper form by February 28, 2020 (if under 250 employees)
- Sent to the IRS electronically by March 31, 2020 (if over 250 employees)
Of note - the IRS has delayed the deadline for providing forms to employees by 30 days. The revised deadline is now March 2, 2020.
Learn more about the extension here.
Are there filing or form changes for the 2019 tax year?
There were no substantial form changes to the 2019 tax year form, outside of the distribution 30 day deadline extension. In fact, the IRS has decided to again extend the "good faith compliance efforts" relief for 2019, much like past years. This relief is provided to employers who made an effort to comply with reporting requirements, but filed incorrectly or incompletely.
An additional item to note for the 2019 tax year form is that the IRS has kept the "plan start month" box as optional for reporting. Also, employers must provide all printed forms in landscape format.
Who can help me file my completed forms?
Options include your payroll company or a third-party vendor. That said, typically the most efficient and streamlined way is through a broker-supported benefits administration system.
Why? Payroll systems and third-party solutions don't maintain benefit information, but a ben admin system already houses and organizes this data, meaning that it can auto-populate the required forms -- requiring no work on your end.
Bernard Benefits clients have access to BerniePortal, which can file forms directly with the IRS, saving time and reducing errors. To learn more about BerniePortal, click here.