The IRS announced that it has extended the 2018 due date for certain entities to provide 2017 health coverage information forms to individuals.

Following consultation with stakeholders, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Service have determined that a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time beyond the January 31, 2018, due date to gather and analyze the information and prepare the 2017 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to be furnished to individuals. Accordingly, this notice extends by 30 days the due date for furnishing the 2017 Form 1095-B and the 2017 Form 1095-C, from January 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018.

Notwithstanding the extension provided in this notice, employers and other coverage providers are encouraged to furnish 2017 statements as soon as they are able.

Therefore, this notice does not extend the due date for filing with the Service the 2017 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, or 1095-C, which remains February 28, 2018, if not filing electronically, or April 2, 2018, if filing electronically.

Because of the extension granted under this notice, some individual taxpayers may not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2017 tax return. Taxpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns, including determining eligibility for the premium tax credit under section 36B and confirming that they had minimum essential coverage for purposes of sections 36B and 5000A. Taxpayers do not need to wait to receive Forms 1095-B and 1095-C before filing their returns. Individuals need not send the information relied upon to the Service when filing their returns but should keep it with their tax records.

In implementing new information-reporting requirements, short-term relief from penalties frequently is provided. This relief recognizes the ongoing challenges involved in developing procedures and systems to accurately collect and report information in compliance with these reporting requirements.

Although the due date has been extended for employers to issue health coverage forms, it is imperative our focus and energies remain on the original target date of January 31 due to the forthcoming changes anticipated from the signing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. Our effort and time will be directed to testing and implementing new tax tables and Internal Revenue Service guidance beginning mid-January.