Beginning in 2024, almost all employers will need to file their Affordable Care Act (ACA) forms electronically. Previously, employers were required to file electronically only if they were filing 250 or more of a specific form, such as the Form 1095-C. Now, employers must file their ACA forms electronically if they are required to file at least 10 "information returns" during the calendar year. In addition, partnerships with more than 100 partners must file their ACA forms electronically.
Counting the Number of "Information Returns"
As noted above, the numeric threshold has changed from 250 to 10. But more importantly, employers now must count all of their "information returns." For these purposes, an "information return" includes at least the Form 1094 series, Form 1095-B, Form 1095-C, Form W-2 (as well as the analogous forms for the U.S. territories), and the Form 1099 series. (Note: The term "information returns" also includes a number of forms that will not apply to most employers: Form 1042-S, Form 1097-BTC, Form 1098, Form 1098-C, Form 1098-E, Form 1098-Q, Form 1098-T, Form 3921, Form 3922, Form 5498 series, Form 8027, and Form W-2G.)
Electronic Reporting Via the Affordable Care Act Information Returns System
The IRS has established the Affordable Care Act Information Returns System (the AIR System) for online filing of ACA forms. An individual filing ACA forms electronically on behalf of the employer must obtain an ID.me account and apply for a Transmitter Control Code. The deadline for electronically filing 2023 ACA forms is March 31, 2024 (absent IRS guidance to the contrary). Early next year, we will issue a client alert describing the reporting requirements and deadlines. In the meantime, we encourage employers newly subject to electronic reporting in 2024 to discuss the electronic reporting requirements with their payroll vendor, if applicable, or to gain access to the AIR System as soon as possible. Additional information about the AIR System is available at IRS.gov/AIR.
Corrected ACA Forms
If an employer must file a corrected ACA form after January 1, 2024, the employer should file the corrected form in the same manner that it filed the original ACA form. In other words, if an original form is required to be filed electronically, any corrected form corresponding to the original form must be filed electronically; if an original form is permitted to be filed on paper and is filed on paper, any corrected form corresponding to the original form must be filed on paper.
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If you have questions or concerns regarding this client alert, please contact the authors, any member of Venable's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group, or your regular Venable lawyer.