2019 Calendars Released and Deadline Extended

 News from the IRS

The IRS Has Released the New IRS Publication 509, “Tax Calendars for Use in 2019”

The publication includes an “Employer’s Tax Calendar” with deadlines for federal income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA taxes), and federal unemployment (FUTA) tax. The calendar lists due dates for filing returns and for making deposits of the aforementioned taxes in 2019. Employers are advised to use the calendar along with the 2019 version of IRS Publication 15 Circular E, “Employer’s Tax Guide,” which provides the tax deposit rules. The 2019 version of IRS Publication 15 hasn’t been released yet.

The filing deadline for 2018 Forms W-2, 940, 943, 945, Form 1099-MISC with nonemployee compensation (NEC) reported in Box 7, and the fourth quarter 2018 Form 941, is January 31, 2019 (Feb. 11, 2019 if all taxes have been deposited when due). Paper copies of 2018 Form 1099-MISC without NEC in Box 7, Form 8027 (Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips), and Affordable Care Act series 1094 and 1095 information returns, must be filed with the IRS by February 28, 2019. The deadline is extended to April 1, 2019 for electronic filers.

Employees who wish to continue their exemption from withholding without interruption for the new year must furnish a new Form W-4 (claiming exemption) to their employer by Feb. 15, 2019.  If an employee who claimed an exemption from withholding in 2018 does not submit a new W-4 for 2019, the employer should withhold based on the last valid W-4 that was received from the employee, or withhold using a single filing status with zero withholding allowances.

In addition to the Employer’s Tax Calendar, Publication 509 also contains a General Tax Calendar (with dates of importance to partnerships, corporations, individuals, farmers, fishermen and others) and an Excise Tax Calendar.

To view the calendars, visit https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p509.pdf

The Deadline for Furnishing 2018 Health Care Statements to Recipients is Extended

The IRS announced that it is extending the deadline for furnishing 2018 Affordable Care Act (ACA) information statements to recipients. The IRS is also providing the same penalty relief that it provided with respect to 2017 returns. However, the deadline for filing the forms with the IRS isn’t being extended.

Background information The Internal Revenue Code requires health insurance issuers, certain employers, and others that provide “minimum essential coverage” to individuals to provide information statements to covered individuals. Entities who are only subject to the information reporting requirements must provide the individuals with Form 1095-B, “Health Coverage.”

The tax code requires applicable large employers (generally, those with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees in the previous year) to provide the individuals with Form 1095-C, “Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage.”

As described in IRS Notice 2018-94, the tax agency is extending the due date for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to recipients from January 31, 2019 to March 4, 2019. The IRS decided to extend the deadline following consultation with stakeholders and the Department of the Treasury, as a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage need additional time. The extension is automatic. No documentation needs to be submitted to receive the extension from the IRS. In view of this automatic extension, the provisions in federal regulations that allow the IRS to grant further extensions of time of up to 30 days to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C won’t be allowed.

No extension of deadline for filing ACA information returns with the IRS. The IRS has determined that there’s no similar need for additional time for employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage to file 2018 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C with the tax agency. The filing deadline for these returns remains February 28, 2019, if not filing electronically, or April 1, 2019, if filing electronically. However, Notice 2018-94 doesn’t affect the provisions regarding automatic and additional extensions of time for filing information returns, which remain available under the normal rules by submitting Form 8809, “Application for Extension of Time To File Information Returns.”

Penalty relief. IRS Notice 2018-94 also extends to the 2018 tax year the good-faith penalty relief from the penalties for failure to timely furnish and file the information returns. In determining good faith, the IRS will take into account whether an employer or other coverage provider made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting the required information to the Service and furnishing it to employees and covered individuals. Examples of good faith include gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission to the IRS, or testing the ability to transmit information to the tax agency.

The IRS is encouraging employers and other coverage providers that don’t meet the relevant due dates to still furnish and file. The tax agency will take these actions into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.

The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS are studying whether and how the reporting requirements under the tax code should change, if at all, for future years, as a result of the individual shared responsibility payment being reduced to zero for months beginning after December 31, 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.