IRS Cuts Employers Some Slack; Will Continue to Accept Electronic ACA Returns After Deadline

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By Bill Fryman, PR and Media Relations
There is a bit of good news for beleaguered employers still struggling to meet the ACA deadlines. The IRS has announced that the ACA Information Returns (AIR) system used to electronically file those returns will remain up and running, even though the June 30 deadline has passed.

In its alert, the IRS stated that if you are not able to submit all required ACA information returns by June 30, 2016, you should complete the filing of your returns after the deadline.

The notice from the IRS also stated that:

  • The AIR system will continue to accept information returns filed after June 30, 2016.  In addition, you can still complete required system testing after June 30, 2016.
  • If any of your transmissions or submissions was rejected by the AIR system, you have 60 days from the date of rejection to submit a replacement and have the rejected submission treated as timely filed.
  • If you submitted and received “Accepted with Errors” messages, you may continue to submit corrections after June 30, 2016.  

Filers of Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C that miss the June 30, 2016, due date will not generally be assessed late filing penalties under section 6721 if the reporting entity has made legitimate efforts to register with the AIR system and to file its information returns, and it continues to make such efforts and completes the process as soon as possible. In addition, consistent with existing information reporting rules, filers that are assessed penalties may still meet the criteria for a reasonable cause waiver from the penalties. 

If you are not an electronic filer and you missed the May 31, 2016, paper filing deadline for ACA information returns, you should also complete the filing of your paper returns as soon as possible.

Make sense? Yeah, we’re a little unsure too. There doesn’t seem to be a new deadline, but what is clear though, is that you won’t be likely to face penalties if you have made legitimate efforts to file and continue to do so. So, long story short: keep at it and get your forms filed and the IRS will cut you some slack. We update this blog if and when we hear more.

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