IRS Forms 1094-1095: What you need to know.

Don’t look now, but IRS ACA compliance – including the filing of IRS Forms 1094-1095 – is coming around the bend once again. Here are essential facts, deadlines, and guidelines you need to know about 1094-1095 compliance for tax year 2016:

WHO NEEDS TO FILE?

Firms with 50 or more full-time employees (FTEs) must file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C  to document health care coverage offered to these workers. Form 1095-C is the proof of coverage for each full-time employee and is sent to both employees and the IRS, while 1094-C is the corporate summary of coverage extended to all FTEs and is only sent to the IRS.

HOW LONG COULD THE FILING PROCESS TAKE?

For Form 1095-C, the IRS estimates each individual form could take 12 minutes to complete. For a firm of 100 FTEs, that could entail 20 hours of work — and that doesn’t include time needed to gather data for filing. Form 1094-C could require about four hours to complete, per the IRS.

WHAT ARE THE FILING DEADLINES?

Employers must file Forms 1094 and 1095 by February 28, 2017, if filing on paper and by March 31, 2017, if filing electronically. Firms with 250 FTEs or more must file electronically, while others can file via paper. Companies must send Form 1095-C to employees by January 31, 2017.

WHAT PENALTIES ARE POSSIBLE FOR LATE FILINGS?

Firms filing late can be fined up to $260 per employee for whom a return must be furnished.

ARE PENALTIES LEVIED FOR INCORRECT FILINGS?

Yes. The so-called "good faith" exemption filers received in tax year 2015 is gone. Now, incorrect 1094-1095 filings can draw a penalty of $260 per filing.

LET PLEXUS LEND A HAND 

If 1094-1095 season didn't go the way you planned last year, it's time to fix it in the upcoming tax year. And if your filing service left you to do all of the heavy lifting on Forms 1094-1095, then handed you a big bill, it's really time to explore other options.

The Plexus Groupe offers a full suite of filing and preparation services for IRS Forms 1094-1095. Our Plexus Technology Services team will take care of the nuts and bolts of filing while being true compliance experts.

For more information on Plexus's 1094-1095 / IRS ACA expertise, contact a client executive at 847-307-6100 (Deer Park, Ill.), 972-770-5010 (Dallas), 312-606-4800 (Chicago -- Loop) or 405-840-3033 (Oklahoma), or contact us via the Web. And we sure to check out our list of 1094-1095 services.

Filing season shouldn't be an ordeal.

You just need the right partners on your side.