As President Trump signed into law legislation repealing the individual insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act, the Internal Revenue Service extended the 2018 due date for some entities to provide 2017 health coverage information forms to individuals.

Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018, to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals, a 30-day extension from the original due date of Jan. 31. The IRS said that should not be an obstacle for taxpayers who want file earlier than that: "“While information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, the forms are not required to file.”

Prior to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS had been warning that it would reject tax returns that did not include information about whether the taxpayer had health insurance that met ACA requirements.

Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers and applicable large employers are required by the ACA to provide statements to employees or covered individuals regarding health care coverage offered to them.

This 30-day extension is automatic; employers and providers don’t have to request it. The due dates for filing 2017 information returns with the IRS are not extended. For 2018, the due dates for information returns with the IRS are Feb. 28 for paper filers and April 2 for e-filers.

Because of these extensions, individuals may not receive their 1095-Bs or 1095-Cs by the time they are ready to file their 2017 individual income tax return. While information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, the forms are not required to file. Taxpayers can prepare and file their returns using other information about their health coverage.

More information is in Notice 2018-06 and at www.irs.gov/aca.

President Donald Trump signs the tax reform bill into law.
President Donald Trump signs the tax reform bill into law in the Oval Office of the White House. Mike Theiler/Pool via Bloomberg

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Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.