It seems that some employers are receiving requests from the IRS asking where their reports are! These letters appear to be one of the first efforts by the IRS to enforce the employer responsibility requirements of the ACA.
Employers who have 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees are required to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. Last year was the first year that employers were required to file these forms addressing coverage provided in 2015.
The letter requires a response from the employer within 30 days from the date on the letter.
Employers are directed to check a box indicating their status for 2015. Choices include:
- An assertion that filing had already occurred
- Acknowledgement that the employer is an ALE and that the forms are included along with the response to the IRS letter
- Acknowledgement that the employer is an ALE and the date that the employer will file the required forms
- An assertion that the employer was not an ALE for calendar year 2015.
The letter closes with a reminder that noncompliance with reporting requirements could result in an assessment of penalties.
Employers that have not yet filed these information returns for calendar year 2015 should do so as soon as possible, if they receive a letter or not. It would also be wise to memorialize the reason for the delay and steps taken to come into compliance so that an employer can provide these facts in any effort to claim they made a “good faith compliance” effort.
Employers should take this enforcement effort as a gentle nudge to comply with the upcoming filing deadlines for the 2016 returns. Reports are due to be filed with the IRS on the following dates:
- February 28, 2017 for paper forms
- March 31, 2017 for electronical filing.