The IRS has issued draft Form 1094/1095 information returns for the 2016 tax year (for filing in early 2017). Forms 1094-B and 1095-B are used by coverage providers to report health plan enrollment as required by Code § 6055. Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are used by applicable large employers (ALEs) to report information relevant to Code § 4980H employer shared responsibility penalties as required by Code § 6056. (ALEs sponsoring self-insured health plans are coverage providers; they satisfy their Code § 6055 obligation by reporting coverage information on Form 1095-C.) The forms also provide information relevant to the individual shared responsibility penalty and premium tax credits.
The draft 2016 forms show few changes from 2015. Here are highlights:
Form 1095-B. Some headings are modified, and line 9 is now marked as “reserved.” (On the 2015 form, this line was intended to report the SHOP identifier, if applicable, but the instructions said to leave the line blank.) The instructions to the recipient (page 2 of the draft form) now explain that individuals receiving coverage under an employer-sponsored plan may have coverage reported on Form 1095-C rather than 1095-B. They also point out that information about employer-sponsored coverage may be left blank even if the recipient had employer-sponsored coverage, and reassure recipients that they need not fill in any information or return the form to the employer in this case. (Form 1094-B, the transmittal for Form 1095-B, is unchanged.)
Form 1094-C. The only change is removal of the line 22 box for “Qualifying Offer Method Transition Relief.” This relief was applicable only to the 2015 calendar year. The box for “Section 4980H Transition Relief” remains, since some non-calendar-year plans may qualify for this relief for calendar months in 2016.
Form 1095-C. There are no substantive changes on the form’s face, but the Instructions for Recipient indicate that two new line 14 codes will be available to reflect conditional offers of coverage to an employee’s spouse. (For 2015 reporting, all offers to an employee’s spouse were reported the same, regardless of whether the offer was subject to a condition—such as the spouse not being eligible for coverage under another employer’s plan.) A cover sheet indicates that the field for the Plan Start Month will remain optional for 2016.
EBIA Comment: We will, of course, have to wait for the instructions to get a complete picture of how reporting will change for the 2016 tax year—in 2015, draft forms were issued in June, and draft instructions followed in August. However, survivors of the first reporting year may be encouraged that the 2016 forms don’t look much different from the 2015 versions. Once the draft instructions are available, we will provide coverage in a future EBIA Weekly article. For more information, see EBIA’s Form 1094/1095 Workbook at Sections IV (“Easy as ABC: Basics of the Reporting Forms”), VII (“Form 1094-C: Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns”), and VIII (“Form 1095-C Report/Employee Statement: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage”). See also EBIA’s Health Care Reform manual at Sections XXXVI.C (“Information Reporting of Minimum Essential Coverage (Insurers and Employers That Self-Insure)”) and XXXVI.D (“Information Reporting of Employer-Sponsored Coverage (Applicable Large Employers)”).
Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.