Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which is better known as Obamacare in the United States, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms 1094-C and 1095-C are required to be filed by employers to provide health insurance coverage to their employees. The main difference between both the forms is that while a 1095-C form is filed and given to both the employee and the IRS, a 1094-C is sent only to the IRS and acts as a cover sheet for 1095-C forms.
Now you’d be thinking why does the IRS need these forms? Because it plays a central role in implementing the ACA. As all employers are required to provide health insurance coverage to their employees by filing these forms, the IRS can track the employers who are and who aren’t providing health coverage to their employees by collecting these forms and can charge a penalty for the same if any discrepancy is found. Other than that, the healthcare law requires almost everyone to have a health coverage and by collecting this data the IRS tracks down people who are not able to secure any health coverage from an employer of any sort and provide insurance to them.
By now, your mind must be filled with questions like how to file these forms and who can file them? Below are the basic 1094-C and 1095-C form filing instructions –
Who can file these forms?
An employer must file an individual 1095-C form for each and every employee working in their organisation to the IRS and provide a copy of the same form to their employees. An employer must also submit a 1094-C form only to the IRS if the employer has filed more than one 1095-C form. A 1094-C form is a summary of all the 1095-C forms filed along with their basic information.
When to file these forms?
According to the IRS, employers must send the 1095-C forms to their employees by the end of January each year and information must be sent to the IRS via 1094-C form by the end of February or by the end of March, if filed electronically.
How to file these forms?
There are two ways to file for an 1095-C and 1094-C form to the IRS. The employer can submit these forms either on paper or electronically. Electronic submission of 1095-C form to the IRS is only allowed if the number of these forms exceed 250 applications. If the number of returns filed is less than 250, then an employer must send the information to IRS via post. The IRS has 2 postal addresses in the United States which take care of filings from different locations assigned to them. IRS’s regional centres are in Kansas City and Austin and they accept applications only from the following cities –
Austin – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
Kansas City – Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.