Comments to the IRS ON Relief Related to Health Coverage Reporting Required by Sections 6055 and 6056

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 12:15pm

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2020 -76) Room 5203
P.O. Box 7604
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, D.C. 20044

RE: Notice 2020 -76 Transition Relief Related to Health Coverage Reporting Required by
Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2020

To Whom It May Concern:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ( “the Chamber”) submits these comments to the Internal
Revenue Service (“IRS ”) in response to Notice 2020 -76 (“Notice”) which provides transition
relief for 2020 related to health coverage reporting required by Sections 6055 and 6056 of the
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education
Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively referred to as “PPACA”). 1 This Notice extends the due
date for certain 2020 information -reporting requirements under sections 6055 and 6056 of the
Internal Revenue Code (Code) from January 31, 2021, to March 2, 2021. This notice also
provides relief from penalties for certain aspects of the 2020 information -reporting requirements
under sections 6055 and 6056.

Our member companies struggle under normal and usual circumstances to comply with the
reporting requirements by the due dates. With the many significant disruptions caused by the
pandemic and the extremely detrimental impact on businesses, this past year has created even
greater compliance challenges. We strongly support the extension of the deadline for providing
a statement to employees per Section 6056; the recognition of good faith efforts to provide the
most accurate and correct information possible, and; the relief regarding the furnishing
requirement under 6055. Further, we urge the IRS to make permanent these three forms of relief.
Finally, we urge the IRS to revise the requirement that insurers and TPAs must repeatedly solicit
social security numbers. The I RS no longer needs these social security numbers to impose a
penalty associated with the individual mandate.

Overview

The Chamber appreciates that it is important to report coverage information to IRS so that the
employer shared responsibility and premium tax credit provisions can be enforced. We strongly
support the relief offered for 2020 and urge the IRS to make this relief permanent. The
Chamber’s members indicate the savings in mailing costs alone will be significant with no
detrimental ramifications to the effective enforcement and implementation of the shared
responsibility and premium tax credit provisions.

As a result, we encourage the IRS to permanently:

  • Delay the due date for providing individuals with the statements in Forms 1095 -B and 1095 -C;
  • Grant relief for furnishing Form 1095 -B to individuals; and
  • Offer good faith relief for reporting and furnishing Forms 1095 -B and 1095 -C.

Permanently Delay the Due Date to Provide to Individuals the Statement in Form 1095 -B
and Form 1095 -C under Section s 6055 and 6056

We urge the IRS to permanently delay the due date by which statements must be provided to
individuals under Section s 6055 and 6056, providing certainty and continuity for employers and
insurers. Permanently granting businesses an additional 30 days to provide this statement to
individuals will also allow employers to focus on first providing Form W -2 to employees by the
January 31 st deadline. By granting this additional time, the IRS will make it easier for employers
and insurers to take advantage of the time in future years.

Permanently Grant Relief for Furnishing Statements Required by Section 6055

The relief permitting self -insured employers and insurers to provide a notice on a website that
Form 1095 -B is available on request will produce tremendous savings and is appropriate given
the tax penalty is zero for failing to comply with the individual shared responsibility requirement
beginning in 2019. Taxpayers no longer need to receive documentation showing they have
minimum essential coverage for federal income tax purposes. Therefore, it is appropriate to have
this information furnished only on request to those individuals who want it or to those
individuals living in a state that requires such documentation due to local individual coverage
mandate requirements. This modification will reduce unnecessary costs. Individuals will still be
inform ed of the availability of statements and yet insurers and employers will be spared the
expense of sending the statement to every taxpayer, most of whom have no need for these
statements.

Again, we believe the IRS should formalize this relief permanently. With this approach set by
regulation, it will make it easier for insurers and self -insured employers required to provide
statements to take advantage of this revised approach.

Further, the IRS should revise its web pages that still refer to some evidence of coverage being
required to support filing an individual federal income tax return. For example, in a Q & A
entry, 2 the IRS describes the need to keep documentation to support responding to a question
about minimum essential coverage (MEC). Filers do not need documentation of MEC for filling
out their tax return. This Q & A and similar outdated provisions on the IRS website should be
updated to eliminate this sort of information.

Permanently Offer Good -Faith Relief for Reporting and Furnishing Information under Sections
6055 and 6056

The Chamber urges the IRS to rethink its description that the relief for 2020 as the “final” extension of
good faith reporting relief under Code Sections 6055 and 6056. Instead, we strongly recommend that the
IRS make this relief permanent too. Employers continue to struggle to collect accurate data from various
vendors. Affording employers and insurers this good-faith relief will help businesses meet their
obligations without penalizing them for difficulties beyond their control.

Waive Requirement to Repeatedly Solicit Social Security Numbers

Just as the statement of coverage provided to individuals under Section 6055 is no longer necessary for
the majority of the nation’s tax -payers, the majority of individuals will not need to provide their social
security numbers in order to facilitate the i mposition of the individual mandate penalty. We encourage
the IRS to waive subsequent solicitation requirements and only preserve the requirement to solicit social
security numbers upon enrollment.

V. CONCLUSION

We urge the IRS to permanently grant these three forms of relief to employers and insurers and continue
to work carefully, pragmatically and cooperatively with the numerous stakeholders to minimize
unnecessary costs and burdens. The IRS and Treasury should issue final forms and final instructions as
soon as possible. We look forward to continuing to work together in the future.

Sincerely,

Katie Mahoney
Vice President, Health Policy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce