They now have until March 2, 2018, to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, which is a 30-day extension from the original due date of Jan. 31… This 30-day extension is automatic. Employers and providers don’t have to request it.
For individual taxpayers and the accountants that prepare their returns, this is pretty frustrating news. Those responsible for providing health insurance (insurance companies, self-insuring employers, and applicable large employers, etc.) are required by the ACA to furnish statements to employees and other covered individuals regarding the health care coverage offered to them. Individuals use this information to determine whether, for each month of the calendar year, they may claim the premium tax credit on their individual income tax returns.
Because accountants are required by law to confirm with their clients that they had insurance that meets the requirements of the mandate, not having Form 1095 in-time to prepare 2017 tax returns is a challenge. Therefore, the IRS has provided guidance indicating that other sources can be used to confirm coverage — such as insurance cards or bills — but obviously those documents don’t provide information on which months the taxpayer may not have had coverage, so relying on them or on a taxpayer’s memory of which months they are covered can be a costly mistake.