Michael Chittenden Quoted Regarding Confusion Over Employee Reporting of ACA-Compliant Coverage on Tax Forms on SHRM Online

"'Where's My 1095?' Addressing Tax Filing Confusion"
SHRM Online

Michael Chittenden was quoted regarding confusion over how employees should report health coverage when filing income tax returns this season, in which they are required to affirm they had Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant coverage. "There are two different 1095 forms that an employee or former employee might get, depending on how coverage was provided. If it's fully insured coverage from a large employer" -- with 50 or more full-time employees or equivalents -- "then they'll receive a Form 1095-C from their employer and a Form 1095-B from the insurance company. If it's self-insured coverage from an employer, they'll just receive a 1095-C that combines the information that would otherwise appear on both forms," Chittenden said. "While the form is helpful, obviously, in that it gives you all the information you need in one place, most employees won't need the form to complete their taxes." Given the deadline extension employers have been granted to provide these forms, "employees should be reassured that they don't need them to complete their taxes, and employers should be telling them that," he added.

If employees think they might have had a gap in health coverage but aren't sure, they still don't necessarily need the form. "They could look at their pay stubs to see if they include information about coverage -- for example, if there are deductions in each month for coverage, then it's a pretty safe bet that they probably had coverage in each month," Chittenden said. "They can also go to the employer and ask HR, which can give them the answer about whether or not they had coverage." ACA reporting has been a challenge for many employers, and "they're doing their best to get these forms out as quickly as they can," Chittenden said, adding that, due to the rush, "employees may subsequently receive corrected forms, if the employer determines later that they were inaccurate, so that's something they should be aware may be coming. And employers should be aware that they have an obligation to correct incorrect forms."

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