Information Reporting of Health Insurance Coverage and Other Issues, 68939-68948 [2021-25785]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH: Docket No. FAA–2021–1019; Project Identifier 2020–CE–006–AD. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by January 20, 2022. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH Model Ventus-2a and Ventus-2b gliders, all serial numbers, certificated in any category. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 2700, Flight Control System. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and address an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as severe corrosion on the inboard flaperon actuation push rods and ball bearing connecting the flaperon push rod to the bell crank inside the wing. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent hard steering and increased play. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced control of the glider. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. head, and bell crank of the flaperon control of the wings for corrosion and other damage in accordance with Action 1 in SchemppHirth Flugzeugbau GmbH Working Instructions for Technical Note No. 349–42/ 825–57, Revision 2, dated February 24, 2020, and before further flight, repair or replace the affected part, as applicable, in accordance with Action 2 in Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH Working Instructions for Technical Note No. 349–42/825–57, Revision 2, dated February 24, 2020. (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD and email to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (i) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Jim Rutherford, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; phone: (816) 329–4165; fax: (816) 329–4090; email: jim.rutherford@faa.gov. (2) Refer to European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0063, dated March 18, 2020, for more information. You may examine the EASA AD in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–1019. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH, Krebenstrasse 25, 73230 Kirchheim/ Teck, Germany; telephone: +49 7021 7298–0; fax: +49 7021 7298–199; email: info@ schempp-hirth.com; website: https:// www.schempp-hirth.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. Issued on November 24, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–26326 Filed 12–3–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P (g) Inspections and Corrective Actions Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 12 months, inspect the pushrod, joint VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68939 DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Parts 1 and 301 [REG–109128–21] RIN 1545–BQ11 Information Reporting of Health Insurance Coverage and Other Issues Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: This document contains proposed regulations providing that ‘‘minimum essential coverage,’’ as that term is used in health insurance-related tax laws, does not include Medicaid coverage that is limited to COVID–19 testing and diagnostic services provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The proposed regulations also would provide an automatic extension of time for providers of minimum essential coverage (including health insurance issuers, self-insured employers, and government agencies) to furnish individual statements regarding such coverage and would provide an alternative method for furnishing individual statements when the shared responsibility payment amount is zero. Additionally, the proposed regulations would provide an automatic extension of time for ‘‘applicable large employers’’ (generally employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) to furnish statements relating to health insurance that the employer offers to its full-time employees. The proposed regulations would affect some taxpayers who claim the premium tax credit; health insurance issuers, self-insured employers, government agencies, and other persons that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals; and applicable large employers. DATES: Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing must be received by February 4, 2022. Requests for a public hearing must be submitted as prescribed in the ‘‘Comments and Requests for a Public Hearing’’ section. ADDRESSES: Commenters are strongly encouraged to submit public comments electronically. Submit electronic submissions via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and REG–109128–21) by following the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. The SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 68940 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects to have limited personnel available to process public comments that are submitted on paper through mail. Until further notice, any comments submitted on paper will be considered to the extent practicable. The Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS will publish for public availability any comment submitted electronically, and to the extent practicable, on paper, to its public docket. Send paper submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG–109128–21), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, call Gerald Semasek, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting), (202) 317–7006 (not a tollfree number); concerning submissions of comments and requests for a public hearing, call Regina Johnson at (202) 317–5177 (not a toll-free number) or send an email to publichearings@ irscounsel.treas.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background This document contains proposed amendments to 26 CFR parts 1 (Income Tax Regulations) and 301 (Procedure and Administration Regulations) under sections 5000A, 6055, and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 1. Minimum Essential Coverage Under Section 5000A Beginning in 2014, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111–148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111–152, 124 Stat. 1029 (2010) (collectively, the Affordable Care Act or ACA), eligible individuals who purchase coverage under a qualified health plan through a Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange) established under section 1311 of the ACA may claim a premium tax credit under section 36B of the Code. Section 36B and § 1.36B–3 of the Income Tax Regulations provide that a taxpayer is allowed a premium tax credit only for months that are coverage months for individuals in the taxpayer’s family, as defined in § 1.36B–1(d). Under § 1.36B–3(c)(1)(iii), a ‘‘coverage month’’ for an individual includes only those months the individual is not eligible for minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market. Section 5000A was added to the Code by section 1501 of the ACA. Section 5000A(f)(1) defines ‘‘minimum essential VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 coverage’’ to include various types of health plans and programs, including, for example, specified governmentsponsored programs such as the Medicare program under Part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act; the Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act; the Children’s Health Insurance Program under Title XXI of the Social Security Act (CHIP); the TRICARE program under chapter 55 of Title 10, United States Code (U.S.C.); health care programs for veterans and other individuals under chapter 17 or 18 of Title 38, U.S.C.; coverage for Peace Corps volunteers under 22 U.S.C. 2504(e); coverage under the Nonappropriated Fund Health Benefits Program under section 349 of Public Law 103–337; and coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan. Section 1.5000A–2(b)(2) of the Income Tax Regulations lists certain government-sponsored programs that do not constitute minimum essential coverage. Section 5000A requires that individuals have minimum essential coverage for each month in the taxable year, qualify for an exemption from the minimum essential coverage requirement, or make an individual shared responsibility payment upon filing a federal income tax return. Section 11081 of Public Law 115–97, 131 Stat. 2054, 2092 (2017), commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), reduces the individual shared responsibility payment amount to zero for months beginning after December 31, 2018. 2. Information Reporting Under Sections 6055 and 6056 Section 6055 of the Code provides that all persons who provide minimum essential coverage to an individual must report certain information to the IRS that identifies covered individuals and the period of coverage. See section 6055(a) and (b). Those persons also must furnish a statement to the covered individuals containing the same information. See section 6055(c). Under section 6055(a), (c)(2), and § 1.6055–1(f) and (g), every person that provides minimum essential coverage to an individual during the calendar year is required to file with the IRS an information return and a transmittal on or before February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) of the year following the calendar year to which it relates and to furnish to the responsible individual identified on the return a written statement on or before January 31 of the year following the calendar year to which the statement relates. The information returns and written PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 statements must include certain information about the reporting entity, the name and taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the responsible individual, the name and TIN of each individual covered under the health policy, and any other information specified in IRS instructional materials. See § 1.6055–1(e) and (g)(4). The IRS generally has designated Form 1094–B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and Form 1095–B, Health Coverage, to meet the section 6055 requirements. Section 6056 of the Code requires an applicable large employer (ALE), as defined in section 4980H(c) of the Code, that is required to meet the requirements of section 4908H to file annually information returns and furnish written statements in relation to the health insurance, if any, that the employer offers to its full-time employees. These information returns and written statements are needed in order to administer the employer shared responsibility provisions of section 4980H. Under section 6056(a), (c)(2), and § 301.6056–1(e) and (g), every ALE or member of an aggregated group that is determined to be an ALE (ALE member) is required to file with the IRS an information return and a transmittal on or before February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) of the year following the calendar year to which it relates and to furnish to full-time employees a written statement on or before January 31 of the year following the calendar year to which the statement relates. The IRS generally has designated Form 1094–C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, and Form 1095–C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, to meet the section 6056 requirements. In addition, an ALE member that offers coverage through a self-insured health plan must complete the reporting required under section 6055, specifically the information regarding each individual enrolled in the selfinsured health plan, using Form 1095– C, Part III, rather than Form 1095–B. ALE members use Form 1095–C, Part III, to meet the section 6055 reporting requirement for all employees. For individuals who are not full-time employees, ALE members report only certain information to reflect that the Form 1095–C is being used to complete the section 6055 reporting applicable to individuals who are not full-time employees, but not the section 6056 reporting applicable only to full-time employees. E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules The current regulations under sections 6055 and 6056 allow the IRS to grant an extension of time of up to 30 days to furnish Forms 1095–B and 1095–C for good cause shown. See §§ 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) and 301.6056– 1(g)(1)(ii)(A). Additionally, filers of Forms 1095–B, 1094–C and 1095–C may receive an automatic 30-day extension of time to file the forms with the IRS by submitting Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, on or before the due date for filing the forms. See §§ 1.6081–1 and 1.6081–8. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 3. Information Reporting Penalties Under Sections 6721 and 6722 Section 6721 imposes a penalty for failing to timely file an information return or for filing an incorrect or incomplete information return. Section 6722 imposes a penalty for failing to timely furnish an information statement or furnishing an incorrect or incomplete information statement. The section 6721 and 6722 penalties are imposed with regard to information returns and statements listed in section 6724(d), which include those required by sections 6055 and 6056. Section 6724 provides that no penalty will be imposed under section 6721 or 6722 with respect to any failure if it is shown that the failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. The preambles to the section 6055 and 6056 regulations provided that the IRS would not impose section 6721 and 6722 penalties on reporting entities for the reporting of 2015 health coverage and offers of coverage if those entities could show that they made good faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements (transitional good faith relief). See T.D. 9660, 79 FR 13220 at 13226 (Mar. 10, 2014); T.D. 9661, 79 FR 13231 at 13246 (Mar. 10, 2014). The transitional good faith relief covered incorrect or incomplete information, including TINs or dates of birth, reported on information returns or statements. The relief did not apply to a failure to timely file or furnish a return or statement, or when the filer failed to make a good faith effort to comply with the reporting requirements. The preambles to the section 6055 and 6056 regulations also stated that reporting entities failing to meet the reporting requirements of the regulations may have been eligible for penalty relief if the IRS determined the standards for reasonable cause under section 6724 were satisfied. The Treasury Department and the IRS reiterated the transitional good faith relief in Notice 2015–68, 2015–41 I.R.B. 547 (Oct. 13, 2015), and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 Notice 2015–87, 2015–52 I.R.B. 889 (Dec. 28, 2015). Explanation of Provisions 1. Medicaid Coverage of COVID–19 Testing and Diagnostic Services Under Section 5000A Notice 2020–66, 2020–40 I.R.B. 785 (Sept. 28, 2020), provides that Medicaid coverage that is limited to COVID–19 testing and diagnostic services under section 6004(a)(3) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116–127, 134 Stat. 178 (Mar. 18, 2020) is not minimum essential coverage under a government-sponsored program. As a consequence, an individual’s eligibility for such coverage for one or more months does not prevent those months from qualifying as coverage months for purposes of determining eligibility for the premium tax credit under section 36B. Notice 2020–66 applies to taxable years beginning in or after 2020. Notice 2020–66 further indicates that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to amend § 1.5000A–2 to provide guidance respecting Medicaid coverage for COVID–19 testing and diagnostic services. Accordingly, these proposed regulations propose to amend § 1.5000A–2 by adding Medicaid coverage for COVID–19 testing and diagnostic services to the enumerated health coverages under § 1.5000A– 2(b)(2) that do not qualify as minimum essential coverage under a governmentsponsored program. Notice 2020–66 provides that taxpayers, including ALEs, may continue to rely on the guidance described in Notice 2020–66 if no proposed regulations or other guidance are released within 18 months after September 28, 2020, which is the date that Notice 2020–66 was published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin. 2. Time and Manner for Furnishing Statements Under Sections 6055 and 6056 Through a series of notices, the Treasury Department and the IRS extended the due dates for furnishing statements to individuals under sections 6055 and 6056 for years 2015 through 2019. See Notice 2016–04, 2016–3 I.R.B. 279 (Jan. 19, 2016); Notice 2016–70, 2016–49 I.R.B. 784 (Dec. 5, 2016); Notice 2018–06, 2018–3 I.R.B. 300 (Jan. 16, 2018); Notice 2018–94, 2018–51 I.R.B. 1042 (Dec. 17, 2018); and Notice 2019–63, 2019–51 I.R.B. 1390 (Dec. 16, 2019). Those notices extended the due date for furnishing Forms 1095–B and 1095–C by 30 days (or the next business day if the 30th day fell on a Saturday, PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68941 Sunday or legal holiday), except that for 2015 information statements, the furnishing due date was extended by 60 days. In addition to extending the due dates for furnishing statements, Notices 2018– 94 and 2019–63 stated that, as a result of the TCJA’s reduction of the shared responsibility payment amount under section 5000A(c) to zero for months beginning after December 31, 2018, the Treasury Department and the IRS were studying how the reporting requirements under section 6055 should change, if at all, for future years. Notice 2019–63 also requested comments on whether an extension of the due date for furnishing statements to individuals pursuant to section 6056 would be necessary for future years, and whether the reporting requirements under section 6055 should change for future years. Only one comment was received. Notice 2020–76, 2020–47 I.R.B. 1058 (Nov. 16, 2020) provided an automatic extension of time for reporting entities to furnish 2020 information statements (Forms 1095–B and 1095–C) to individuals from January 31, 2021, to March 2, 2021. The notice stated that the Treasury Department and the IRS determined that a substantial number of employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage needed additional time beyond January 31, 2021, to gather and analyze the information necessary to prepare and issue the Forms 1095–B and 1095–C. Notice 2020–76 also provided that because of the grant of the automatic extension to March 2, 2021, for furnishing Forms 1095–B and 1095–C, §§ 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) and 301.6056– 1(g)(1)(ii)(A) (allowing the IRS to grant an extension of time of up to 30 days to furnish Forms 1095–B and 1095–C) would not apply. The notice did not extend the due dates for filing 2020 Forms 1095–B, 1094–C, or 1095–C with the IRS. The provisions of §§ 1.6081–1 and 1.6081–8 (allowing an automatic extension of time for filing information returns by submission of a Form 8809 before the due date) were not affected by Notice 2020–76. The Treasury Department and the IRS received 119 public comments in response to Notice 2020–76. The commenters included health insurance providers, employers, associations, governmental agencies, payroll processors, and others. Nearly all commenters generally supported an extension of the due date for furnishing Forms 1095–B and 1095–C to responsible individuals and employees. The commenters generally indicated that the current January 31 deadline to furnish Forms 1095–B and 1095–C to E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 68942 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules responsible individuals and employees, under section 6055(c)(2) and 6056(c)(2), and §§ 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i)(A) and 1.6056– 1(g)(1)(i), is difficult to meet. Commenters noted that the process by which reporting entities compile accurate health coverage offer and enrollment information is complex and often takes more time than the current January 31 deadline allows. Employers are required to compile offer and enrollment information for large numbers of employees, sometimes from multiple systems, verify the accuracy of the information, and transmit the information to vendors so that the statements can be timely issued to individuals. Commenters further indicated that, while health coverage information is tracked throughout the year, accurate reporting on Forms 1095– B and 1095–C includes data and information from the month of December, which necessarily requires employers to spend substantial time after the close of the year compiling and verifying data. A number of commenters stated that the data and information necessary to prepare the forms is not available until mid-January and that the period required to prepare and mail the large numbers of forms can take from three to seven weeks. Commenters also pointed out that the January 31 deadline for furnishing Forms 1095–B and 1095–C to individuals may make it difficult for employers to make changes to their benefit plans near the end of the calendar year. Commenters further noted that the January 31 deadline coincides with the due dates of other government forms, including Form W– 2, Form 1099–NEC, Form 941 for the fourth quarter, and annual Forms 940 and 945. One commenter wrote that the substantial time necessary to complete Forms 1095–B and 1095–C is attributable to the fact that the information required depends upon detailed employer and employee activities. The commenter stated that, in some cases, employers must undertake a day-by-day or person-by-person assessment, which may lead to varied individual results in the codes that are required to be entered on the forms. These factors, the commenter noted, make the Forms 1095–B and 1095–C meaningfully distinguishable from other information returns on which aggregate dollar amounts are reported for the year—for example, Form W–2—without regard to day-by-day activity. Some of the commenters indicated that, if a more permanent automatic extension of the January 31 furnishing deadline is not provided for future reporting, entities will annually request VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 additional time to produce and mail accurate Forms 1095–B and 1095–C pursuant to the current extension procedures. The result would be that the IRS would need to process a significant number of extension requests each year. a. Extension of Deadline for Furnishing Statements Under Section 6055 To reduce administrative burdens for reporting entities and the IRS, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that the furnishing requirements under § 1.6055–1(g) should be modified by providing an automatic extension of time for reporting entities to furnish statements to responsible individuals. This proposed amendment to the regulations under section 6055 is consistent with Notice 2020–76. Under these proposed regulations, § 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i) is proposed to be amended to provide that reporting entities are granted an automatic extension of time, not to exceed 30 days, in which to furnish the written statements required by § 1.6055–1(g). Because this extension is automatic, the proposed regulations eliminate the requirement in § 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) that a reporting entity make a written application to the IRS showing good cause to request an extension of time to furnish the statement. Under this proposed amendment to the regulations, statements (Forms 1095–B) furnished to responsible individuals will be timely if furnished no later than 30 days after January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which minimum essential coverage is provided. If the extended furnishing date falls on a weekend day or legal holiday, statements will be timely if furnished on the next business day. See section 7503. The automatic 30-day extension would replace both the 30day extension for good cause in § 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) and the authorization for the Commissioner to provide automatic extensions in § 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i)(B)(2). b. Alternative Manner of Furnishing Statements Under Section 6055 Notice 2020–76 indicates that, because the TCJA reduced the individual shared responsibility payment amount to zero for 2020, responsible individuals do not need the information on Form 1095–B to prepare and file their individual returns. Nonetheless, reporting entities required to furnish Forms 1095–B must expend resources to do so. In light of those factors, the Treasury Department and the IRS determined that relief from the penalty under section 6722 for failing to PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 furnish a statement (Form 1095–B) required under section 6055 for 2020 was in the interest of sound tax administration in certain cases. Thus, Notice 2020–76 provided that the IRS would not assess a section 6722 penalty against a reporting entity for failing to furnish Form 1095–B to responsible individuals for 2020 in cases when two conditions were met (2020 section 6055 furnishing relief). First, a reporting entity was required to post a notice prominently on its website stating that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their 2020 Form 1095–B upon request, accompanied by an email address and a physical address to which a request may be sent, along with a telephone number that responsible individuals may use to contact the reporting entity with any questions. Second, a reporting entity was required to provide a 2020 Form 1095–B to a responsible individual upon request within 30 days of the date the request was received. A reporting entity could furnish the statements to responsible individuals electronically if the requirements of § 1.6055–2 were satisfied. Because of the combined reporting by ALE members under sections 6055 and 6056 on Form 1095–C for full-time employees of ALE members enrolled in self-insured health plans, the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief was not extended to the requirement to furnish Forms 1095–C to full-time employees. The 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief, however, applied to penalty assessments related to the requirement to furnish Form 1095–C to a part-time employee enrolled in an ALE member’s self-insured plan for any month in 2020, subject to the two requirements of the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief. Finally, the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief did not extend to the assessment of penalties relating to failures to file the 2020 Forms 1094–B or 1095–B or the Forms 1094–C or 1095–C, as applicable, with the IRS. In response to Notice 2020–76, a number of health plan providers, governmental agencies, and associations requested that the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief be made permanent or extended at least for the time periods when the individual shared responsibility payment amount is zero. These commenters echoed the considerations identified in Notice 2020–76 supporting the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief. Namely, commenters pointed to the high costs associated with producing and mailing Forms 1095–B although individuals have no need for the information on the Form 1095–B to correctly compute E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules federal tax liability and timely file returns. Commenters cited additional production and/or mailing costs ranging from a half million to more than four million dollars annually without the relief. One state agency reported receiving only 478 requests for Form 1095–B from approximately one million Medicaid recipients for 2019. Other commenters indicated that a small number of individuals need proof of minimum essential coverage to satisfy certain state requirements, but that very few individuals have otherwise requested the Form 1095–B. Some commenters pointed out that taxpayers may be confused by the receipt of Forms 1095–B. In light of the public comments received, § 1.6055–1(g)(4) is proposed to be amended by adding new paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) to provide an alternative manner for a reporting entity to timely furnish statements. Under this alternative manner of furnishing, the reporting entity must post a clear and conspicuous notice on the entity’s website stating that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their statement upon request. The notice must include an email address, a physical address to which a request may be sent, and a telephone number that responsible individuals may use to contact a reporting entity with any questions. This alternative manner of furnishing will apply only to taxable years when the shared responsibility payment amount under section 5000A(b) is zero. One commenter requested that, if the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief is extended, a self-insured ALE member should continue to be permitted to use the relief for employees who are enrolled in the ALE’s self-insured plan and who are not full-time employees of the ALE. The commenter also requested that the proposed regulations allow a self-insured ALE member to use the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief for non-employees, such as former employees of the ALE, who are enrolled in the self-insured plan. The proposed regulations adopt both requests in the rules for the alternative method of furnishing. However, consistent with the guidance in Notice 2020–76, the proposed regulations do not allow ALE members to use the alternative method of furnishing for full-time employees who are enrolled in the self-insured plan. The proposed regulations also address a suggestion of a commenter to Notice 2020–76 who requested that future guidance specify the time period a reporting entity is required to retain the notice on its website and also explain VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 how prominent the notice must be. The provisions of proposed § 1.6055– 1(g)(4)(ii)(B) provide that a reporting entity satisfies the furnishing requirements under § 1.6055–1(g)(4) by retaining the website notice until October 15 of the year following the calendar year to which the statement relates. Additionally, the proposed regulations clarify the requirement in Notice 2020–76 that a reporting entity include a prominently posted notice on its website. Under the proposal, a reporting entity must include a clear and conspicuous notice on the reporting entity’s website that is reasonably accessible by individuals who may search the entity’s website for tax information. A notice posted on a reporting entity’s website will satisfy the requirement under proposed § 1.6055–1(g)(4)(ii)(B) if written in plain, non-technical terms and with letters of a font size large enough (including any visual clues or graphical figures) to call to a viewer’s attention that the information pertains to tax statements reporting that individuals had health coverage. For example, a reporting entity’s website that includes a statement on the main page, or a link on the main page, reading ‘‘Tax Information,’’ to a secondary page that includes a statement, in capital letters, ‘‘IMPORTANT HEALTH COVERAGE TAX DOCUMENTS;’’ explains how responsible individuals may request a copy of Form 1095–B, Health Coverage, or Form 1095–C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, as applicable; and includes the reporting entity’s email address, mailing address, and telephone number, is a clear and conspicuous notice under these proposed regulations. One commenter requested that the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief be modified to allow a reporting entity to satisfy the furnishing requirement under § 1.6055–1(g) by including only a link to a member portal through which responsible individuals may receive a copy of the Form 1095–B via electronic download. The commenter stated that because responsible individuals will have located and navigated the website of a reporting entity to locate the entity’s address and other contact information, the website notice informing individuals of the ability to request a Form 1095–B should not have to also include contact information. The commenter noted that the process under which responsible individuals will send written requests or call customer service representatives of reporting entities to request Forms 1095–B will take time and add costs to providing health care. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68943 Under the commenter’s proposal, reporting entities that do not provide a member portal for individuals to download and receive the Form 1095– B will be required to include a website notice with an email address, physical address, and telephone number for individuals to call to request the form, consistent with the first condition of the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief. The requirement in these proposed regulations that a reporting entity include its email address, mailing address, and telephone number on a website notice informing individuals of the ability to request a Form 1095–B is consistent with other information reporting provisions. See, for example, § 1.6050S–1(c)(1)(iii)(G) (an educational institution or insurer issuing Form 1098–T, Tuition Statement, is required to include contact information on statement). A responsible individual may have questions about how to request a copy of the statement required under § 1.6055–1(g) for the taxable year or may have questions about some of the information on the statement. The proposed rule requiring the reporting entity’s contact information on a posted website notice fulfills that need for responsible individuals. Accordingly, the comment recommending that a reporting entity may provide only website access to a member portal (and capability to electronically download Form 1095–B) without the reporting entity’s contact information is not adopted. If, in the future, the shared responsibility payment amount under section 5000A(b) is not zero, the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that reporting entities will need adequate time to develop or restart processes for preparing and mailing paper statements to responsible individuals. If the shared responsibility payment amount is modified in the future, the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate providing guidance, if necessary, to allow sufficient time for reporting entities to restart the reporting process. c. Extension of Deadline for Furnishing Statements Under Section 6056 For the reasons discussed in section 2 of the Explanation of Provisions, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that, to reduce administrative burdens for ALE members and the IRS, the furnishing requirements under § 301.6056–1(g)(1) should be modified by providing an automatic extension of time for ALE members to furnish written statements to full-time employees. This proposed amendment to the regulations under E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 68944 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules section 6056 is consistent with Notice 2020–76. Under these proposed regulations, § 301.6056–1(g)(1) is proposed to be amended to provide that ALE members are granted an automatic extension of time, not to exceed 30 days, in which to furnish the written statements to fulltime employees. Because the extension is automatic, the proposed regulations eliminate the requirement in § 301.6056–1(g)(1)(ii)(A) that an ALE member make a written application to the IRS showing good cause or to otherwise request an extension of time to furnish the statement. Under this proposed amendment to the regulations, statements (Forms 1095–C) furnished to full-time employees will be timely if furnished no later than 30 days after January 31 of the calendar year in accordance with applicable Internal Revenue Service procedures and instructions. If the extended furnishing date falls on a weekend day or legal holiday, statements will be timely furnished if provided on the next business day. See section 7503. The automatic 30-day extension would replace both the 30-day extension for good cause in § 301.6056–1(g)(1)(ii)(A) and the authorization for the Commissioner to provide automatic extensions in § 301.6056–1(g)(1)(ii)(B). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 3. Elimination of Transitional Good Faith Relief As noted in the Background section of this preamble, the preambles to the regulations under sections 6055 and 6056 provided that the IRS would grant transitional good faith relief by not imposing penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 on reporting entities for the reporting of 2015 health coverage and offers of coverage if those entities could show that they made good faith efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements. See T.D. 9660; T.D. 9661. The Treasury Department and the IRS extended that transitional good faith relief for years 2015 through 2019 in the series of notices that extended the due dates for the requirements for furnishing statements to individuals under sections 6055 and 6056 for those years. See Notice 2016– 04; Notice 2016–70; Notice 2018–06; Notice 2018–94; Notice 2019–63; and Notice 2020–76. In Notice 2020–76, the Treasury Department and the IRS stated that 2020 was the last year that transitional good faith relief would be provided. Thus, the transitional good faith relief from penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 for the reporting of incorrect or incomplete information on information returns or statements is not VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 available for reporting for tax year 2021 and subsequent years. This good faith relief was intended to be transitional to accommodate public concerns with implementing the then newly enacted reporting requirements under the ACA. These reporting requirements have now been in place for six years, and transitional relief is no longer appropriate. Some commenters requested that the relief be extended due to continued difficulty in understanding the reporting requirements, periodic changes to the ACA, and the uncertainty related to the COVID–19 pandemic. Although the Treasury Department and the IRS are sympathetic to those concerns, additional good faith relief is not necessary to address them. The reasonable cause exception under section 6724 already provides adequate relief from penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 for filers who have reasonable cause for failing to timely or accurately complete their reporting requirements. Therefore, the Treasury Department and the IRS will discontinue the transitional good faith relief after tax year 2020. 4. Renewed Comment Request on the Section 6055 2016 Proposed Regulations In Notice 2015–68, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced that they intended to propose regulations under section 6055 that would: (1) Provide that health insurance issuers must report coverage in a catastrophic plan; (2) allow filers reporting on insured group health plans to use a truncated TIN to identify the employer on the statement furnished to a taxpayer; and (3) specify when a provider of minimum essential coverage is not required to report duplicative or supplemental coverage. The notice also invited comments on issues relating to TIN solicitation and provided that until the issuance of additional guidance, reporting entities would not be subject to penalties for failure to report a TIN if they met certain requirements. Finally, the notice advised that governments of United States possessions or territories are not required to report coverage under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and that a state government agency sponsoring coverage under the Basic Health Program is required to report that coverage. On August 2, 2016, the Treasury Department and the IRS published a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG– 103058–16) in the Federal Register (81 FR 50671) (2016 proposed regulations). Consistent with Notice 2015–68, the PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 2016 proposed regulations proposed to address catastrophic health coverage, truncated TINs, and duplicative or supplemental coverage. With regard to TIN solicitations, the 2016 proposed regulations incorporated the penalty relief in Notice 2015–68, with certain revisions to the requirements in response to comments. The 2016 proposed regulations also proposed to incorporate the guidance in Notice 2015–68 related to United States possessions or territories and reporting regarding the Basic Health Program. The 2016 proposed regulations provided that, until the regulations were finalized, reporting entities could rely on the guidance in Notice 2015–68. In addition, any issuer that voluntarily files returns or furnishes statements on catastrophic coverage before final regulations are issued will not be subject to penalties for those returns or statements. See Notice 2017–41, 2017– 34 I.R.B. 211 (Aug. 21, 2017). The Treasury Department and the IRS received 16 comments on the 2016 proposed regulations but have not issued a Treasury Decision finalizing the 2016 proposed regulations. No public hearing was requested or held. The Treasury Department and the IRS are renewing their request for comments on all aspects of the 2016 proposed regulations and, after considering the comments received, intend to finalize the 2016 proposed regulations as part of any Treasury Decision finalizing these proposed regulations. Written or electronic comments must be received by February 4, 2022. Statement of Availability of IRS Documents IRS revenue procedures, revenue rulings, notices, and other guidance cited in this preamble are published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov. Proposed Applicability Date The regulations under § 1.5000A–2, once final, are proposed to apply for months beginning after September 28, 2020. For months beginning on or after January 1, 2020, and before September 28, 2020, taxpayers may continue to rely on Notice 2020–66. Taxpayers may rely on § 1.5000A–2 of these proposed regulations for months beginning after September 28, 2020, and before the date a Treasury Decision finalizing these regulations is published in the Federal Register. The regulations under §§ 1.6055–1 and 301.6056–1, once final, E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules are proposed to apply for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2021. Taxpayers may rely on §§ 1.6055–1 and 301.6056–1 of these proposed regulations for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2020, and before the date a Treasury Decision finalizing the regulations is published in the Federal Register. See the 2016 proposed regulations for the proposed applicability dates of those proposed rules. Special Analyses I. Regulatory Planning and Review— Economic Analysis These proposed regulations are not subject to review under section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (April 11, 2018) between the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding review of tax regulations. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS II. Paperwork Reduction Act An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. There is no collection of information contained in these proposed regulations. The collections of information contained in §§ 1.6055–1 and 301.6056– 1 were previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) and are associated with control numbers 1545–2251 (associated with Form 1095–C) and 1545–2252 (associated with Form 1095– B). The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520) relates to information collection requests by any government agency. A collection of information generally means the ‘‘obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling for either (1) answers to identical questions posted to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on ten or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States, or (2) answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be used for general statistical purposes.’’ 44 U.S.C. 3502(3). A collection of information is commonly referred to as a reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirement. These proposed regulations do not require a reporting entity to provide any VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 information to the Federal government, to maintain specific records, or to disclose any additional information that the reporting entity did not already have a requirement to disclose. III. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis When an agency issues a proposed rulemaking, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) (Act) requires the agency to ‘‘prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis’’ that ‘‘describe[s] the impact of the proposed rule on small entities.’’ 5 U.S.C. 603(a). The term ‘‘small entities’’ is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601 to mean ‘‘small business,’’ ‘‘small organization,’’ and ‘‘small governmental jurisdiction,’’ which are also defined in 5 U.S.C. 601. Small business size standards define whether a business is ‘‘small’’ and have been established for types of economic activities, or industry, generally under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). See Title 13, Part 121 of the Code of Federal Regulations (titled ‘‘Small Business Size Regulations’’). The size standards look at various factors, including annual receipts, number of employees, and amount of assets, to determine whether the business is small. See Title 13, Part 121.201 of the Code of Federal Regulations for the Small Business Size Standards by NAICS Industry. Section 605 of the Act provides an exception to the requirement to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis if the agency certifies that the proposed rulemaking will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that, although the overall impact of these proposed regulations will substantially reduce the burden on small entities, these proposed regulations, if finalized, will impact a substantial number of small entities and the economic impact on those small entities will be significant. As a result, although the impact of these regulations is positive for small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is required. Description of the reasons why the agency action is being considered. The proposed regulations under § 1.5000A–2 propose to make permanent the guidance in Notice 2020– 66 regarding whether certain Medicaid coverage of COVID–19 testing and diagnostic services is minimum essential coverage. The proposed regulations under §§ 1.6055–1 and 301.6056–1 propose to make permanent the extension of time to furnish Forms PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68945 1095–B and 1095–C to responsible individuals and employees that has been provided every year since 2015. The proposed regulations under § 1.6055–1 also allow reporting entities to furnish the statement required by section 6055 by providing notice on their website and by providing the statement to the responsible individual upon request. The proposed regulations under § 1.5000A–2 will ensure that taxpayers have accurate guidance when determining whether they have minimum essential coverage, which in turn will assist taxpayers in determining whether they qualify for the premium tax credit. The proposed regulations under §§ 1.6055–1 and 301.6056–1 will reduce the burden on reporting entities by extending the time to satisfy their reporting obligations with regard to health care coverage without worrying whether the penalty under section 6722 will be imposed. The extension should result in increased timely and accurate reporting. Those proposed regulations also reduce the burden on reporting entities by providing a low-cost option to satisfy the reporting obligation under section 6055 at a time when responsible individuals do not need the information to complete their returns. Statement of the objectives of, and the legal basis for, the proposed rule. The principal objectives of the proposed regulations are to provide taxpayers with definitive guidance of what constitutes, or does not constitute, minimum essential coverage, to provide reporting entities with a sufficient amount of time to complete and furnish accurate statements to responsible individuals and full-time employees, and to offer reporting entities under section 6055 a minimally burdensome option by which to furnish the required statement. The legal basis for defining minimum essential coverage is section 5000A(f)(1)(E), which provides the Secretary of the Treasury or her delegate (Secretary) with the authority to determine what types of health coverage constitute minimum essential coverage. The legal basis for the extended due date was originally set forth in the series of notices referenced in the Explanation of Provisions section above, under which the Treasury Department and the IRS extended the dates for furnishing statements to responsible individuals and full-time employees, providing that taxpayers that satisfy the furnishing requirement by the extended due date will not be subject to penalties under sections 6721 and 6722. Section 6724(a) provides that no penalty is imposed under section 6721 or 6722 if it is shown that the failure is due to E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 68946 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. Section 7803(a)(2)(A) gives the Commissioner the power to administer, manage, conduct, direct, and supervise the execution and application of internal revenue laws. That same legal basis applies for these proposed regulations. Additionally, §§ 1.6055– 1(g)(4)(i)(B) and 301.6056–1(g)(1)(ii) provide the Secretary with the authority to provide extensions of time to furnish statements under sections 6055 and 6056. Regarding the form of the statement to be furnished, sections 6055(b)(1)(A) and 6056(b)(1) provide the Secretary with the authority to prescribe the form of the return that is the basis for the furnishing requirements in sections 6055(c) and 6056(c). Description and estimate (where feasible) of the number of small entities subject to the proposed rule. The proposed regulations apply to health insurance issuers, self-insured employers, government agencies, and other providers of minimum essential coverage required to furnish individual statements regarding such coverage under section 6055 and ALE members that are required to furnish information relating to health insurance that the ALE offers to its full-time employees under section 6056. An estimate of the number of small entities subject to the proposed regulations is not feasible because a correlation between small taxpayers and this type of reporting cannot be made. The proposed regulations affect all industries. Taxpayers using any NAICS code could be subject to the proposed regulations. Description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and related requirements of the proposed rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities that will be subject to the requirements and the type of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or record. As discussed in the Paperwork Reduction Act section above, these proposed regulations do not impose any reporting, recordkeeping, or similar requirements on any small entities. Identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule. The proposed regulations do not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any Federal statutes or other rules. Description of any significant alternatives to the proposed rule that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and minimize any significant economic impact on small entities. The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that, without a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 legislative change, there are no viable alternatives to the provisions in the proposed regulations that would enable reporting entities to continue to satisfy their reporting obligations with a lesser burden. Accordingly, the Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that the provisions of the proposed regulations will most effectively promote sound tax administration. The revisions to the definition of what is not minimum essential coverage in § 1.5000A–2 will provide concrete advice to ensure that taxpayers can adequately determine whether they have minimum essential coverage. An automatic extension of time to furnish statements under proposed §§ 1.6055–1(g)(4)(i) and 301.6056–1(g)(1) will assist in timely and more accurate reporting. Last, the additional electronic manner of furnishing a statement in proposed § 1.6055–1(g)(4)(ii)(B), at a time when the shared responsibility payment amount is zero, will help reporting entities reduce costs, while still satisfying their statutory reporting obligations. Accordingly, implementation of these proposed regulations will increase tax compliance by providing definitive guidance and will allow reporting entities the time needed to furnish timely and accurate statements, with minimal production and distribution burden regarding the furnishing. Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel of the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small business. IV. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits and take certain other actions before issuing a final rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in expenditures in any one year by a state, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million (updated annually for inflation). This proposed rule does not include any Federal mandate that may result in expenditures by state, local, or tribal governments, or by the private sector in excess of that threshold. V. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Executive Order 13132 (entitled ‘‘Federalism’’) prohibits an agency from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule either imposes substantial, direct compliance costs on state and local governments, and is not PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 required by statute, or preempts state law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order. This proposed rule does not have federalism implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments or preempt state law within the meaning of the Executive Order. Comments and Requests for Public Hearing Before these proposed regulations or the 2016 proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this preamble under the ADDRESSES section. The Treasury Department and the IRS request comments on all aspects of these proposed regulations, as well as all aspects of the 2016 proposed regulations. Any electronic comments submitted, and to the extent practicable any paper comments submitted, will be made available at www.regulations.gov or upon request. All comments, including comments on the 2016 proposed regulations, should reference REG–109128–21. A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any person who timely submits written comments. Requests for a public hearing are also encouraged to be made electronically. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register. Announcement 2020–4, 2020– 17 I.R.B. 1 (Apr. 20, 2020), provides that until further notice, public hearings conducted by the IRS will be held telephonically. Any telephonic hearing will be made accessible to people with disabilities. Drafting Information The principal author of these proposed regulations is Gerald Semasek, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting). Other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated in their development. List of Subjects 26 CFR Part 1 Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 26 CFR Part 301 Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules Proposed Amendments to the Regulations Accordingly, IRS proposes to amend 26 CFR parts 1 and 301 as follows: PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in part as follows: ■ Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * * Par. 2. Section 1.5000A–2 is amended by: ■ 1. Revising paragraph (b)(2)(vii) and (viii); ■ 2. Adding paragraph (b)(2)(ix). The revisions and addition read as follows: ■ § 1.5000A–2 Minimum essential coverage. * * * * * (b) * * * (2) * * * (vii) Coverage under section 1079(a), 1086(c)(1), or 1086(d)(1) of title 10, U.S.C., that is solely limited to space available care in a facility of the uniformed services for individuals excluded from TRICARE coverage for care from private sector providers; (viii) Coverage under section 1074a and 1074b of title 10, U.S.C., for an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated in the line of duty for individuals who are not on active duty; and (ix) Medicaid coverage limited to COVID–19 testing and diagnostic services provided under section 6004(a)(3) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Pub. L. 116– 127, 134 Stat. 178 (March 18, 2020). ■ Par. 3. Section 1.5000A–5 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows: § 1.5000A–5 procedure. Administration and khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (c) Applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (c), this section and § 1.5000A–1 through 1.5000A–4 apply for months beginning after December 31, 2013. Section 1.5000A–2(b)(2)(ix) applies for months beginning after September 28, 2020. ■ Par. 4. Section 1.6055–1 is amended by: ■ 1. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (g)(1); ■ 2. Revising paragraph (g)(4)(i) and (ii); ■ 3. Revising paragraph (j). The revisions read as follows: § 1.6055–1 Information reporting for minimum essential coverage. * * * * * (g) * * * Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 this section, every person required to file a return under this section must furnish to the responsible individual identified on the return a written statement. * * * * * * * * (4) * * * (i) Time for furnishing— Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (g)(4)(i), a reporting entity must furnish the statements required under paragraph (g)(1) of this section on or before January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the minimum essential coverage is provided. Reporting entities are granted an automatic extension of time not exceeding 30 days in which to furnish these statements. (ii) Manner of furnishing—(A) In general. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) of this section, if mailed, the statement must be sent to the responsible individual’s last known permanent address or, if no permanent address is known, to the individual’s temporary address. For purposes of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(A), a reporting entity’s first class mailing to the last known permanent address, or if no permanent address is known, the temporary address, discharges the requirement to furnish the statement. A reporting entity may furnish the statement electronically if the requirements of § 1.6055–2 are satisfied. (B) Alternative manner of furnishing. A reporting entity shall be treated as furnishing the statement in a timely manner under this paragraph (g)(4) if the shared responsibility payment amount under section 5000A(c) for the calendar year in which the minimum essential coverage is provided is zero and the reporting entity satisfies the requirements in this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B). If the reporting entity is an applicable large employer member that sponsors a self-insured group health plan and makes a return in accordance with paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section related to that plan, the applicable large employer member may use the alternative manner of furnishing described in this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) for statements to non-full-time employees and non-employees who are enrolled in the applicable large employer’s self-insured group health plan. A reporting entity may use the alternative manner of furnishing described in this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) only if the reporting entity: (1) Provides clear and conspicuous notice, in a location on its website that is reasonably accessible to all responsible individuals, stating that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their statement upon request. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 68947 The notice must include an email address, a physical address to which a request for a statement may be sent, and a telephone number that responsible individuals may use to contact the reporting entity with any questions. A notice posted on a reporting entity’s website will satisfy the requirements of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) if it is written in plain, non-technical terms and with letters of a font size large enough, including any visual clues or graphical figures, to call to a viewer’s attention that the information pertains to tax statements reporting that individuals had health coverage. For example, a reporting entity’s website provides a clear and conspicuous notice if it includes a statement on the main page—or a link on the main page, reading ‘‘Tax Information’’, to a secondary page that includes a statement—in capital letters, ‘‘IMPORTANT HEALTH COVERAGE TAX DOCUMENTS’’; explains how responsible individuals may request a copy of Form 1095–B, Health Coverage, (or, for an applicable large employer member that sponsors a self-insured group health plan and makes a return in accordance with paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section, explains how non-full-time employees and non-employees who are enrolled in the plan may request a copy of Form 1095–C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage); and includes the reporting entity’s email address, mailing address, and telephone number; (2) Retains the notice in the same location on its website through October 15 of the year following the calendar year to which the statements relate (or the first business day after October 15, if October 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday); and (3) Furnishes the statement to a requesting responsible individual within 30 days of the date the request is received. To satisfy the requirement of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(3), a reporting entity may furnish the statement electronically pursuant to § 1.6055–2(a)(2) through (a)(6). * * * * * (j) Applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (j), this section applies for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2014. Paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(4)(i), and (g)(4)(ii) of this section apply for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2021, but reporting entities may choose to apply paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(4)(i), and (g)(4)(ii) of this section for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2020. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (j), paragraph (g)(4), as E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1 68948 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 231 / Monday, December 6, 2021 / Proposed Rules contained in 26 CFR part 1 edition revised as of April 1, 2021, applies to calendar years ending after December 31, 2014 and beginning before January 1, 2022. PART 301—PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email MST3 Christopher Matthews, Sector Ohio Valley, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 502–779–5334, email Christopher.S.Matthews@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley (COTP) proposes to amend section 165.801 of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to update our regulations for annual fireworks displays and other events in the Eighth Coast Guard District requiring safety zones with respect to those in Sector Ohio Valley’s area of responsibility (AOR). The current list of annual and recurring safety zones in Sector Ohio AOR is published under 33 CFR 165.801 in Table no. 1 for annual and recurring safety zones in the AOR. The most recent list was created May 18, 2021 through the rulemaking 86 FR 26837. The Coast Guard proposes to amend and update the safety zone regulations under 33 CFR part 165 to include the most up to date list of recurring safety zones for events held on or around navigable waters within Sector Ohio Valley’s AOR. These events include air shows, fireworks displays, and other marine events requiring a limited access area restricting vessel traffic for safety purposes. The current list in 33 CFR 165.801 needs to be amended to provide new information on existing safety zones, and to include new safety zones expected to recur annually or biannually, and to remove safety zones that are no longer required. Issuing individual regulations for each new safety zone, amendment, or removal of an existing safety zone would create unnecessary administrative costs and burdens. This single proposed rulemaking would considerably reduce administrative overhead and provide the public with notice through publication in the Federal Register of the upcoming recurring safety zone regulations. The Coast Guard encourages the public to participate in this proposed rulemaking through the comment process so that any necessary changes can be identified and implemented in a timely and efficient manner. The Coast Guard will address all public comments accordingly, whether through response, additional revision to the regulation, or otherwise. I. Table of Abbreviations III. Discussion of Proposed Rule CFR Code of Federal Regulations COTP Captain of the Port Sector Ohio Valley DHS Department of Homeland Security E.O. Executive Order FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code AOR Area of Responsibility Part 165 of Title 33 of the CFR contains regulations establishing limited access areas to restrict vessel traffic for the safety of persons and property. Section 165.801 establishes recurring safety zones to restrict vessel transit into and through specified areas to protect spectators, mariners, and other persons and property from potential hazards Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG–2021–0874] Par. 5. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part as follows: ■ Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805 * * * * * * * * Par. 6. Section 301.6056–1 is amended by revising paragraphs (g)(1) and (m) to read as follows: RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Update ■ § 301.6056–1 Rules relating to reporting by applicable large employers on health insurance coverage offered under employer-sponsored plans. * * * * (g) * * * (1) Time for furnishing— Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (g)(1), each statement required by this section for a calendar year must be furnished to a full-time employee on or before January 31 of the year succeeding the calendar year in accordance with applicable Internal Revenue Service procedures and instructions. Applicable large employers are granted an automatic extension of time not exceeding 30 days in which to furnish these statements. * * * * * (m) Applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (m), this section applies for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2014. Paragraph (g)(1) of this section applies for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2021, but applicable large employers may choose to apply paragraph (g)(1) of this section for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2020. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (m), paragraph (g)(1), as contained in 26 CFR part 1 edition revised as of April 1, 2021, applies to calendar years ending after December 31, 2014 and beginning before January 1, 2022. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS * Douglas W. O’Donnell, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. [FR Doc. 2021–25785 Filed 12–3–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:06 Dec 03, 2021 Jkt 256001 II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: The Coast Guard is proposing to amend and update its list of recurring safety zone regulations that take place in the Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley area of responsibility (AOR). Through this rule the current list of recurring safety zones is proposed to be updated with revisions, additional events, and removal of events that no longer take place. This proposed rule would reduce administrative costs involved in producing separate proposed rules for each individual recurring safety zone and serve to provide notice of the known recurring safety zones throughout the year. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking. DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before January 5, 2022. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2021–0874 using the Federal Decision Making Portal at https:// www.regulations.gov. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\06DEP1.SGM 06DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 231 (Monday, December 6, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 68939-68948]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25785]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Internal Revenue Service

26 CFR Parts 1 and 301

[REG-109128-21]
RIN 1545-BQ11


Information Reporting of Health Insurance Coverage and Other 
Issues

AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document contains proposed regulations providing that 
``minimum essential coverage,'' as that term is used in health 
insurance-related tax laws, does not include Medicaid coverage that is 
limited to COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services provided under the 
Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The proposed regulations also 
would provide an automatic extension of time for providers of minimum 
essential coverage (including health insurance issuers, self-insured 
employers, and government agencies) to furnish individual statements 
regarding such coverage and would provide an alternative method for 
furnishing individual statements when the shared responsibility payment 
amount is zero. Additionally, the proposed regulations would provide an 
automatic extension of time for ``applicable large employers'' 
(generally employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent 
employees) to furnish statements relating to health insurance that the 
employer offers to its full-time employees. The proposed regulations 
would affect some taxpayers who claim the premium tax credit; health 
insurance issuers, self-insured employers, government agencies, and 
other persons that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals; 
and applicable large employers.

DATES: Written or electronic comments and requests for a public hearing 
must be received by February 4, 2022. Requests for a public hearing 
must be submitted as prescribed in the ``Comments and Requests for a 
Public Hearing'' section.

ADDRESSES: Commenters are strongly encouraged to submit public comments 
electronically. Submit electronic submissions via the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and REG-109128-
21) by following the online instructions for submitting comments. Once 
submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, comments cannot be edited 
or withdrawn. The

[[Page 68940]]

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) expects to have limited personnel 
available to process public comments that are submitted on paper 
through mail. Until further notice, any comments submitted on paper 
will be considered to the extent practicable. The Department of the 
Treasury (Treasury Department) and the IRS will publish for public 
availability any comment submitted electronically, and to the extent 
practicable, on paper, to its public docket. Send paper submissions to: 
CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-109128-21), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. 
Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Concerning the proposed regulations, 
call Gerald Semasek, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and 
Accounting), (202) 317-7006 (not a toll-free number); concerning 
submissions of comments and requests for a public hearing, call Regina 
Johnson at (202) 317-5177 (not a toll-free number) or send an email to 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    This document contains proposed amendments to 26 CFR parts 1 
(Income Tax Regulations) and 301 (Procedure and Administration 
Regulations) under sections 5000A, 6055, and 6056 of the Internal 
Revenue Code (Code).

1. Minimum Essential Coverage Under Section 5000A

    Beginning in 2014, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
Act, Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), and the Health Care and 
Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, 124 Stat. 
1029 (2010) (collectively, the Affordable Care Act or ACA), eligible 
individuals who purchase coverage under a qualified health plan through 
a Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange) established under section 1311 
of the ACA may claim a premium tax credit under section 36B of the 
Code. Section 36B and Sec.  1.36B-3 of the Income Tax Regulations 
provide that a taxpayer is allowed a premium tax credit only for months 
that are coverage months for individuals in the taxpayer's family, as 
defined in Sec.  1.36B-1(d). Under Sec.  1.36B-3(c)(1)(iii), a 
``coverage month'' for an individual includes only those months the 
individual is not eligible for minimum essential coverage other than 
coverage in the individual market.
    Section 5000A was added to the Code by section 1501 of the ACA. 
Section 5000A(f)(1) defines ``minimum essential coverage'' to include 
various types of health plans and programs, including, for example, 
specified government-sponsored programs such as the Medicare program 
under Part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act; the Medicaid 
program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act; the Children's 
Health Insurance Program under Title XXI of the Social Security Act 
(CHIP); the TRICARE program under chapter 55 of Title 10, United States 
Code (U.S.C.); health care programs for veterans and other individuals 
under chapter 17 or 18 of Title 38, U.S.C.; coverage for Peace Corps 
volunteers under 22 U.S.C. 2504(e); coverage under the Nonappropriated 
Fund Health Benefits Program under section 349 of Public Law 103-337; 
and coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan. Section 
1.5000A-2(b)(2) of the Income Tax Regulations lists certain government-
sponsored programs that do not constitute minimum essential coverage.
    Section 5000A requires that individuals have minimum essential 
coverage for each month in the taxable year, qualify for an exemption 
from the minimum essential coverage requirement, or make an individual 
shared responsibility payment upon filing a federal income tax return. 
Section 11081 of Public Law 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054, 2092 (2017), 
commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), reduces the 
individual shared responsibility payment amount to zero for months 
beginning after December 31, 2018.

2. Information Reporting Under Sections 6055 and 6056

    Section 6055 of the Code provides that all persons who provide 
minimum essential coverage to an individual must report certain 
information to the IRS that identifies covered individuals and the 
period of coverage. See section 6055(a) and (b). Those persons also 
must furnish a statement to the covered individuals containing the same 
information. See section 6055(c). Under section 6055(a), (c)(2), and 
Sec.  1.6055-1(f) and (g), every person that provides minimum essential 
coverage to an individual during the calendar year is required to file 
with the IRS an information return and a transmittal on or before 
February 28 (March 31 if filed electronically) of the year following 
the calendar year to which it relates and to furnish to the responsible 
individual identified on the return a written statement on or before 
January 31 of the year following the calendar year to which the 
statement relates. The information returns and written statements must 
include certain information about the reporting entity, the name and 
taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the responsible individual, the 
name and TIN of each individual covered under the health policy, and 
any other information specified in IRS instructional materials. See 
Sec.  1.6055-1(e) and (g)(4). The IRS generally has designated Form 
1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and Form 
1095-B, Health Coverage, to meet the section 6055 requirements.
    Section 6056 of the Code requires an applicable large employer 
(ALE), as defined in section 4980H(c) of the Code, that is required to 
meet the requirements of section 4908H to file annually information 
returns and furnish written statements in relation to the health 
insurance, if any, that the employer offers to its full-time employees. 
These information returns and written statements are needed in order to 
administer the employer shared responsibility provisions of section 
4980H.
    Under section 6056(a), (c)(2), and Sec.  301.6056-1(e) and (g), 
every ALE or member of an aggregated group that is determined to be an 
ALE (ALE member) is required to file with the IRS an information return 
and a transmittal on or before February 28 (March 31 if filed 
electronically) of the year following the calendar year to which it 
relates and to furnish to full-time employees a written statement on or 
before January 31 of the year following the calendar year to which the 
statement relates. The IRS generally has designated Form 1094-C, 
Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage 
Information Returns, and Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health 
Insurance Offer and Coverage, to meet the section 6056 requirements.
    In addition, an ALE member that offers coverage through a self-
insured health plan must complete the reporting required under section 
6055, specifically the information regarding each individual enrolled 
in the self-insured health plan, using Form 1095-C, Part III, rather 
than Form 1095-B. ALE members use Form 1095-C, Part III, to meet the 
section 6055 reporting requirement for all employees. For individuals 
who are not full-time employees, ALE members report only certain 
information to reflect that the Form 1095-C is being used to complete 
the section 6055 reporting applicable to individuals who are not full-
time employees, but not the section 6056 reporting applicable only to 
full-time employees.

[[Page 68941]]

    The current regulations under sections 6055 and 6056 allow the IRS 
to grant an extension of time of up to 30 days to furnish Forms 1095-B 
and 1095-C for good cause shown. See Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) 
and 301.6056-1(g)(1)(ii)(A). Additionally, filers of Forms 1095-B, 
1094-C and 1095-C may receive an automatic 30-day extension of time to 
file the forms with the IRS by submitting Form 8809, Application for 
Extension of Time to File Information Returns, on or before the due 
date for filing the forms. See Sec. Sec.  1.6081-1 and 1.6081-8.

3. Information Reporting Penalties Under Sections 6721 and 6722

    Section 6721 imposes a penalty for failing to timely file an 
information return or for filing an incorrect or incomplete information 
return. Section 6722 imposes a penalty for failing to timely furnish an 
information statement or furnishing an incorrect or incomplete 
information statement. The section 6721 and 6722 penalties are imposed 
with regard to information returns and statements listed in section 
6724(d), which include those required by sections 6055 and 6056. 
Section 6724 provides that no penalty will be imposed under section 
6721 or 6722 with respect to any failure if it is shown that the 
failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect.
    The preambles to the section 6055 and 6056 regulations provided 
that the IRS would not impose section 6721 and 6722 penalties on 
reporting entities for the reporting of 2015 health coverage and offers 
of coverage if those entities could show that they made good faith 
efforts to comply with the information reporting requirements 
(transitional good faith relief). See T.D. 9660, 79 FR 13220 at 13226 
(Mar. 10, 2014); T.D. 9661, 79 FR 13231 at 13246 (Mar. 10, 2014). The 
transitional good faith relief covered incorrect or incomplete 
information, including TINs or dates of birth, reported on information 
returns or statements. The relief did not apply to a failure to timely 
file or furnish a return or statement, or when the filer failed to make 
a good faith effort to comply with the reporting requirements. The 
preambles to the section 6055 and 6056 regulations also stated that 
reporting entities failing to meet the reporting requirements of the 
regulations may have been eligible for penalty relief if the IRS 
determined the standards for reasonable cause under section 6724 were 
satisfied. The Treasury Department and the IRS reiterated the 
transitional good faith relief in Notice 2015-68, 2015-41 I.R.B. 547 
(Oct. 13, 2015), and Notice 2015-87, 2015-52 I.R.B. 889 (Dec. 28, 
2015).

Explanation of Provisions

1. Medicaid Coverage of COVID-19 Testing and Diagnostic Services Under 
Section 5000A

    Notice 2020-66, 2020-40 I.R.B. 785 (Sept. 28, 2020), provides that 
Medicaid coverage that is limited to COVID-19 testing and diagnostic 
services under section 6004(a)(3) of the Families First Coronavirus 
Response Act, Public Law 116-127, 134 Stat. 178 (Mar. 18, 2020) is not 
minimum essential coverage under a government-sponsored program. As a 
consequence, an individual's eligibility for such coverage for one or 
more months does not prevent those months from qualifying as coverage 
months for purposes of determining eligibility for the premium tax 
credit under section 36B. Notice 2020-66 applies to taxable years 
beginning in or after 2020.
    Notice 2020-66 further indicates that the Treasury Department and 
the IRS intend to amend Sec.  1.5000A-2 to provide guidance respecting 
Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services. 
Accordingly, these proposed regulations propose to amend Sec.  1.5000A-
2 by adding Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 testing and diagnostic 
services to the enumerated health coverages under Sec.  1.5000A-2(b)(2) 
that do not qualify as minimum essential coverage under a government-
sponsored program.
    Notice 2020-66 provides that taxpayers, including ALEs, may 
continue to rely on the guidance described in Notice 2020-66 if no 
proposed regulations or other guidance are released within 18 months 
after September 28, 2020, which is the date that Notice 2020-66 was 
published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.

2. Time and Manner for Furnishing Statements Under Sections 6055 and 
6056

    Through a series of notices, the Treasury Department and the IRS 
extended the due dates for furnishing statements to individuals under 
sections 6055 and 6056 for years 2015 through 2019. See Notice 2016-04, 
2016-3 I.R.B. 279 (Jan. 19, 2016); Notice 2016-70, 2016-49 I.R.B. 784 
(Dec. 5, 2016); Notice 2018-06, 2018-3 I.R.B. 300 (Jan. 16, 2018); 
Notice 2018-94, 2018-51 I.R.B. 1042 (Dec. 17, 2018); and Notice 2019-
63, 2019-51 I.R.B. 1390 (Dec. 16, 2019). Those notices extended the due 
date for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C by 30 days (or the next 
business day if the 30th day fell on a Saturday, Sunday or legal 
holiday), except that for 2015 information statements, the furnishing 
due date was extended by 60 days.
    In addition to extending the due dates for furnishing statements, 
Notices 2018-94 and 2019-63 stated that, as a result of the TCJA's 
reduction of the shared responsibility payment amount under section 
5000A(c) to zero for months beginning after December 31, 2018, the 
Treasury Department and the IRS were studying how the reporting 
requirements under section 6055 should change, if at all, for future 
years. Notice 2019-63 also requested comments on whether an extension 
of the due date for furnishing statements to individuals pursuant to 
section 6056 would be necessary for future years, and whether the 
reporting requirements under section 6055 should change for future 
years. Only one comment was received.
    Notice 2020-76, 2020-47 I.R.B. 1058 (Nov. 16, 2020) provided an 
automatic extension of time for reporting entities to furnish 2020 
information statements (Forms 1095-B and 1095-C) to individuals from 
January 31, 2021, to March 2, 2021. The notice stated that the Treasury 
Department and the IRS determined that a substantial number of 
employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential coverage 
needed additional time beyond January 31, 2021, to gather and analyze 
the information necessary to prepare and issue the Forms 1095-B and 
1095-C. Notice 2020-76 also provided that because of the grant of the 
automatic extension to March 2, 2021, for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 
1095-C, Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) and 301.6056-1(g)(1)(ii)(A) 
(allowing the IRS to grant an extension of time of up to 30 days to 
furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C) would not apply. The notice did not 
extend the due dates for filing 2020 Forms 1095-B, 1094-C, or 1095-C 
with the IRS. The provisions of Sec. Sec.  1.6081-1 and 1.6081-8 
(allowing an automatic extension of time for filing information returns 
by submission of a Form 8809 before the due date) were not affected by 
Notice 2020-76.
    The Treasury Department and the IRS received 119 public comments in 
response to Notice 2020-76. The commenters included health insurance 
providers, employers, associations, governmental agencies, payroll 
processors, and others. Nearly all commenters generally supported an 
extension of the due date for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to 
responsible individuals and employees. The commenters generally 
indicated that the current January 31 deadline to furnish Forms 1095-B 
and 1095-C to

[[Page 68942]]

responsible individuals and employees, under section 6055(c)(2) and 
6056(c)(2), and Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(A) and 1.6056-1(g)(1)(i), 
is difficult to meet.
    Commenters noted that the process by which reporting entities 
compile accurate health coverage offer and enrollment information is 
complex and often takes more time than the current January 31 deadline 
allows. Employers are required to compile offer and enrollment 
information for large numbers of employees, sometimes from multiple 
systems, verify the accuracy of the information, and transmit the 
information to vendors so that the statements can be timely issued to 
individuals. Commenters further indicated that, while health coverage 
information is tracked throughout the year, accurate reporting on Forms 
1095-B and 1095-C includes data and information from the month of 
December, which necessarily requires employers to spend substantial 
time after the close of the year compiling and verifying data. A number 
of commenters stated that the data and information necessary to prepare 
the forms is not available until mid-January and that the period 
required to prepare and mail the large numbers of forms can take from 
three to seven weeks.
    Commenters also pointed out that the January 31 deadline for 
furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals may make it difficult 
for employers to make changes to their benefit plans near the end of 
the calendar year. Commenters further noted that the January 31 
deadline coincides with the due dates of other government forms, 
including Form W-2, Form 1099-NEC, Form 941 for the fourth quarter, and 
annual Forms 940 and 945. One commenter wrote that the substantial time 
necessary to complete Forms 1095-B and 1095-C is attributable to the 
fact that the information required depends upon detailed employer and 
employee activities. The commenter stated that, in some cases, 
employers must undertake a day-by-day or person-by-person assessment, 
which may lead to varied individual results in the codes that are 
required to be entered on the forms. These factors, the commenter 
noted, make the Forms 1095-B and 1095-C meaningfully distinguishable 
from other information returns on which aggregate dollar amounts are 
reported for the year--for example, Form W-2--without regard to day-by-
day activity.
    Some of the commenters indicated that, if a more permanent 
automatic extension of the January 31 furnishing deadline is not 
provided for future reporting, entities will annually request 
additional time to produce and mail accurate Forms 1095-B and 1095-C 
pursuant to the current extension procedures. The result would be that 
the IRS would need to process a significant number of extension 
requests each year.
a. Extension of Deadline for Furnishing Statements Under Section 6055
    To reduce administrative burdens for reporting entities and the 
IRS, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that the 
furnishing requirements under Sec.  1.6055-1(g) should be modified by 
providing an automatic extension of time for reporting entities to 
furnish statements to responsible individuals. This proposed amendment 
to the regulations under section 6055 is consistent with Notice 2020-
76.
    Under these proposed regulations, Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i) is 
proposed to be amended to provide that reporting entities are granted 
an automatic extension of time, not to exceed 30 days, in which to 
furnish the written statements required by Sec.  1.6055-1(g). Because 
this extension is automatic, the proposed regulations eliminate the 
requirement in Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) that a reporting entity 
make a written application to the IRS showing good cause to request an 
extension of time to furnish the statement. Under this proposed 
amendment to the regulations, statements (Forms 1095-B) furnished to 
responsible individuals will be timely if furnished no later than 30 
days after January 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year 
in which minimum essential coverage is provided. If the extended 
furnishing date falls on a weekend day or legal holiday, statements 
will be timely if furnished on the next business day. See section 7503. 
The automatic 30-day extension would replace both the 30-day extension 
for good cause in Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(B)(1) and the authorization 
for the Commissioner to provide automatic extensions in Sec.  1.6055-
1(g)(4)(i)(B)(2).
b. Alternative Manner of Furnishing Statements Under Section 6055
    Notice 2020-76 indicates that, because the TCJA reduced the 
individual shared responsibility payment amount to zero for 2020, 
responsible individuals do not need the information on Form 1095-B to 
prepare and file their individual returns. Nonetheless, reporting 
entities required to furnish Forms 1095-B must expend resources to do 
so. In light of those factors, the Treasury Department and the IRS 
determined that relief from the penalty under section 6722 for failing 
to furnish a statement (Form 1095-B) required under section 6055 for 
2020 was in the interest of sound tax administration in certain cases. 
Thus, Notice 2020-76 provided that the IRS would not assess a section 
6722 penalty against a reporting entity for failing to furnish Form 
1095-B to responsible individuals for 2020 in cases when two conditions 
were met (2020 section 6055 furnishing relief). First, a reporting 
entity was required to post a notice prominently on its website stating 
that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their 2020 Form 
1095-B upon request, accompanied by an email address and a physical 
address to which a request may be sent, along with a telephone number 
that responsible individuals may use to contact the reporting entity 
with any questions. Second, a reporting entity was required to provide 
a 2020 Form 1095-B to a responsible individual upon request within 30 
days of the date the request was received. A reporting entity could 
furnish the statements to responsible individuals electronically if the 
requirements of Sec.  1.6055-2 were satisfied.
    Because of the combined reporting by ALE members under sections 
6055 and 6056 on Form 1095-C for full-time employees of ALE members 
enrolled in self-insured health plans, the 2020 section 6055 furnishing 
relief was not extended to the requirement to furnish Forms 1095-C to 
full-time employees. The 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief, however, 
applied to penalty assessments related to the requirement to furnish 
Form 1095-C to a part-time employee enrolled in an ALE member's self-
insured plan for any month in 2020, subject to the two requirements of 
the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief. Finally, the 2020 section 6055 
furnishing relief did not extend to the assessment of penalties 
relating to failures to file the 2020 Forms 1094-B or 1095-B or the 
Forms 1094-C or 1095-C, as applicable, with the IRS.
    In response to Notice 2020-76, a number of health plan providers, 
governmental agencies, and associations requested that the 2020 section 
6055 furnishing relief be made permanent or extended at least for the 
time periods when the individual shared responsibility payment amount 
is zero. These commenters echoed the considerations identified in 
Notice 2020-76 supporting the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief. 
Namely, commenters pointed to the high costs associated with producing 
and mailing Forms 1095-B although individuals have no need for the 
information on the Form 1095-B to correctly compute

[[Page 68943]]

federal tax liability and timely file returns. Commenters cited 
additional production and/or mailing costs ranging from a half million 
to more than four million dollars annually without the relief. One 
state agency reported receiving only 478 requests for Form 1095-B from 
approximately one million Medicaid recipients for 2019. Other 
commenters indicated that a small number of individuals need proof of 
minimum essential coverage to satisfy certain state requirements, but 
that very few individuals have otherwise requested the Form 1095-B. 
Some commenters pointed out that taxpayers may be confused by the 
receipt of Forms 1095-B.
    In light of the public comments received, Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4) is 
proposed to be amended by adding new paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) to provide 
an alternative manner for a reporting entity to timely furnish 
statements. Under this alternative manner of furnishing, the reporting 
entity must post a clear and conspicuous notice on the entity's website 
stating that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their 
statement upon request. The notice must include an email address, a 
physical address to which a request may be sent, and a telephone number 
that responsible individuals may use to contact a reporting entity with 
any questions. This alternative manner of furnishing will apply only to 
taxable years when the shared responsibility payment amount under 
section 5000A(b) is zero.
    One commenter requested that, if the 2020 section 6055 furnishing 
relief is extended, a self-insured ALE member should continue to be 
permitted to use the relief for employees who are enrolled in the ALE's 
self-insured plan and who are not full-time employees of the ALE. The 
commenter also requested that the proposed regulations allow a self-
insured ALE member to use the 2020 section 6055 furnishing relief for 
non-employees, such as former employees of the ALE, who are enrolled in 
the self-insured plan. The proposed regulations adopt both requests in 
the rules for the alternative method of furnishing. However, consistent 
with the guidance in Notice 2020-76, the proposed regulations do not 
allow ALE members to use the alternative method of furnishing for full-
time employees who are enrolled in the self-insured plan.
    The proposed regulations also address a suggestion of a commenter 
to Notice 2020-76 who requested that future guidance specify the time 
period a reporting entity is required to retain the notice on its 
website and also explain how prominent the notice must be. The 
provisions of proposed Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(ii)(B) provide that a 
reporting entity satisfies the furnishing requirements under Sec.  
1.6055-1(g)(4) by retaining the website notice until October 15 of the 
year following the calendar year to which the statement relates. 
Additionally, the proposed regulations clarify the requirement in 
Notice 2020-76 that a reporting entity include a prominently posted 
notice on its website. Under the proposal, a reporting entity must 
include a clear and conspicuous notice on the reporting entity's 
website that is reasonably accessible by individuals who may search the 
entity's website for tax information. A notice posted on a reporting 
entity's website will satisfy the requirement under proposed Sec.  
1.6055-1(g)(4)(ii)(B) if written in plain, non-technical terms and with 
letters of a font size large enough (including any visual clues or 
graphical figures) to call to a viewer's attention that the information 
pertains to tax statements reporting that individuals had health 
coverage. For example, a reporting entity's website that includes a 
statement on the main page, or a link on the main page, reading ``Tax 
Information,'' to a secondary page that includes a statement, in 
capital letters, ``IMPORTANT HEALTH COVERAGE TAX DOCUMENTS;'' explains 
how responsible individuals may request a copy of Form 1095-B, Health 
Coverage, or Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and 
Coverage, as applicable; and includes the reporting entity's email 
address, mailing address, and telephone number, is a clear and 
conspicuous notice under these proposed regulations.
    One commenter requested that the 2020 section 6055 furnishing 
relief be modified to allow a reporting entity to satisfy the 
furnishing requirement under Sec.  1.6055-1(g) by including only a link 
to a member portal through which responsible individuals may receive a 
copy of the Form 1095-B via electronic download. The commenter stated 
that because responsible individuals will have located and navigated 
the website of a reporting entity to locate the entity's address and 
other contact information, the website notice informing individuals of 
the ability to request a Form 1095-B should not have to also include 
contact information. The commenter noted that the process under which 
responsible individuals will send written requests or call customer 
service representatives of reporting entities to request Forms 1095-B 
will take time and add costs to providing health care. Under the 
commenter's proposal, reporting entities that do not provide a member 
portal for individuals to download and receive the Form 1095-B will be 
required to include a website notice with an email address, physical 
address, and telephone number for individuals to call to request the 
form, consistent with the first condition of the 2020 section 6055 
furnishing relief.
    The requirement in these proposed regulations that a reporting 
entity include its email address, mailing address, and telephone number 
on a website notice informing individuals of the ability to request a 
Form 1095-B is consistent with other information reporting provisions. 
See, for example, Sec.  1.6050S-1(c)(1)(iii)(G) (an educational 
institution or insurer issuing Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, is 
required to include contact information on statement). A responsible 
individual may have questions about how to request a copy of the 
statement required under Sec.  1.6055-1(g) for the taxable year or may 
have questions about some of the information on the statement. The 
proposed rule requiring the reporting entity's contact information on a 
posted website notice fulfills that need for responsible individuals. 
Accordingly, the comment recommending that a reporting entity may 
provide only website access to a member portal (and capability to 
electronically download Form 1095-B) without the reporting entity's 
contact information is not adopted.
    If, in the future, the shared responsibility payment amount under 
section 5000A(b) is not zero, the Treasury Department and the IRS 
anticipate that reporting entities will need adequate time to develop 
or restart processes for preparing and mailing paper statements to 
responsible individuals. If the shared responsibility payment amount is 
modified in the future, the Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate 
providing guidance, if necessary, to allow sufficient time for 
reporting entities to restart the reporting process.

c. Extension of Deadline for Furnishing Statements Under Section 6056

    For the reasons discussed in section 2 of the Explanation of 
Provisions, the Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that, 
to reduce administrative burdens for ALE members and the IRS, the 
furnishing requirements under Sec.  301.6056-1(g)(1) should be modified 
by providing an automatic extension of time for ALE members to furnish 
written statements to full-time employees. This proposed amendment to 
the regulations under

[[Page 68944]]

section 6056 is consistent with Notice 2020-76.
    Under these proposed regulations, Sec.  301.6056-1(g)(1) is 
proposed to be amended to provide that ALE members are granted an 
automatic extension of time, not to exceed 30 days, in which to furnish 
the written statements to full-time employees. Because the extension is 
automatic, the proposed regulations eliminate the requirement in Sec.  
301.6056-1(g)(1)(ii)(A) that an ALE member make a written application 
to the IRS showing good cause or to otherwise request an extension of 
time to furnish the statement. Under this proposed amendment to the 
regulations, statements (Forms 1095-C) furnished to full-time employees 
will be timely if furnished no later than 30 days after January 31 of 
the calendar year in accordance with applicable Internal Revenue 
Service procedures and instructions. If the extended furnishing date 
falls on a weekend day or legal holiday, statements will be timely 
furnished if provided on the next business day. See section 7503. The 
automatic 30-day extension would replace both the 30-day extension for 
good cause in Sec.  301.6056-1(g)(1)(ii)(A) and the authorization for 
the Commissioner to provide automatic extensions in Sec.  301.6056-
1(g)(1)(ii)(B).

3. Elimination of Transitional Good Faith Relief

    As noted in the Background section of this preamble, the preambles 
to the regulations under sections 6055 and 6056 provided that the IRS 
would grant transitional good faith relief by not imposing penalties 
under sections 6721 and 6722 on reporting entities for the reporting of 
2015 health coverage and offers of coverage if those entities could 
show that they made good faith efforts to comply with the information 
reporting requirements. See T.D. 9660; T.D. 9661. The Treasury 
Department and the IRS extended that transitional good faith relief for 
years 2015 through 2019 in the series of notices that extended the due 
dates for the requirements for furnishing statements to individuals 
under sections 6055 and 6056 for those years. See Notice 2016-04; 
Notice 2016-70; Notice 2018-06; Notice 2018-94; Notice 2019-63; and 
Notice 2020-76. In Notice 2020-76, the Treasury Department and the IRS 
stated that 2020 was the last year that transitional good faith relief 
would be provided. Thus, the transitional good faith relief from 
penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 for the reporting of incorrect 
or incomplete information on information returns or statements is not 
available for reporting for tax year 2021 and subsequent years.
    This good faith relief was intended to be transitional to 
accommodate public concerns with implementing the then newly enacted 
reporting requirements under the ACA. These reporting requirements have 
now been in place for six years, and transitional relief is no longer 
appropriate. Some commenters requested that the relief be extended due 
to continued difficulty in understanding the reporting requirements, 
periodic changes to the ACA, and the uncertainty related to the COVID-
19 pandemic. Although the Treasury Department and the IRS are 
sympathetic to those concerns, additional good faith relief is not 
necessary to address them. The reasonable cause exception under section 
6724 already provides adequate relief from penalties under sections 
6721 and 6722 for filers who have reasonable cause for failing to 
timely or accurately complete their reporting requirements. Therefore, 
the Treasury Department and the IRS will discontinue the transitional 
good faith relief after tax year 2020.

4. Renewed Comment Request on the Section 6055 2016 Proposed 
Regulations

    In Notice 2015-68, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced 
that they intended to propose regulations under section 6055 that 
would: (1) Provide that health insurance issuers must report coverage 
in a catastrophic plan; (2) allow filers reporting on insured group 
health plans to use a truncated TIN to identify the employer on the 
statement furnished to a taxpayer; and (3) specify when a provider of 
minimum essential coverage is not required to report duplicative or 
supplemental coverage. The notice also invited comments on issues 
relating to TIN solicitation and provided that until the issuance of 
additional guidance, reporting entities would not be subject to 
penalties for failure to report a TIN if they met certain requirements. 
Finally, the notice advised that governments of United States 
possessions or territories are not required to report coverage under 
Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and that a 
state government agency sponsoring coverage under the Basic Health 
Program is required to report that coverage.
    On August 2, 2016, the Treasury Department and the IRS published a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (REG-103058-16) in the Federal Register 
(81 FR 50671) (2016 proposed regulations). Consistent with Notice 2015-
68, the 2016 proposed regulations proposed to address catastrophic 
health coverage, truncated TINs, and duplicative or supplemental 
coverage. With regard to TIN solicitations, the 2016 proposed 
regulations incorporated the penalty relief in Notice 2015-68, with 
certain revisions to the requirements in response to comments. The 2016 
proposed regulations also proposed to incorporate the guidance in 
Notice 2015-68 related to United States possessions or territories and 
reporting regarding the Basic Health Program. The 2016 proposed 
regulations provided that, until the regulations were finalized, 
reporting entities could rely on the guidance in Notice 2015-68. In 
addition, any issuer that voluntarily files returns or furnishes 
statements on catastrophic coverage before final regulations are issued 
will not be subject to penalties for those returns or statements. See 
Notice 2017-41, 2017-34 I.R.B. 211 (Aug. 21, 2017).
    The Treasury Department and the IRS received 16 comments on the 
2016 proposed regulations but have not issued a Treasury Decision 
finalizing the 2016 proposed regulations. No public hearing was 
requested or held. The Treasury Department and the IRS are renewing 
their request for comments on all aspects of the 2016 proposed 
regulations and, after considering the comments received, intend to 
finalize the 2016 proposed regulations as part of any Treasury Decision 
finalizing these proposed regulations. Written or electronic comments 
must be received by February 4, 2022.

Statement of Availability of IRS Documents

    IRS revenue procedures, revenue rulings, notices, and other 
guidance cited in this preamble are published in the Internal Revenue 
Bulletin and are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. 
Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, or by visiting the 
IRS website at http://www.irs.gov.

Proposed Applicability Date

    The regulations under Sec.  1.5000A-2, once final, are proposed to 
apply for months beginning after September 28, 2020. For months 
beginning on or after January 1, 2020, and before September 28, 2020, 
taxpayers may continue to rely on Notice 2020-66. Taxpayers may rely on 
Sec.  1.5000A-2 of these proposed regulations for months beginning 
after September 28, 2020, and before the date a Treasury Decision 
finalizing these regulations is published in the Federal Register. The 
regulations under Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1 and 301.6056-1, once final,

[[Page 68945]]

are proposed to apply for calendar years beginning after December 31, 
2021. Taxpayers may rely on Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1 and 301.6056-1 of these 
proposed regulations for calendar years beginning after December 31, 
2020, and before the date a Treasury Decision finalizing the 
regulations is published in the Federal Register. See the 2016 proposed 
regulations for the proposed applicability dates of those proposed 
rules.

Special Analyses

I. Regulatory Planning and Review--Economic Analysis

    These proposed regulations are not subject to review under section 
6(b) of Executive Order 12866 pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement 
(April 11, 2018) between the Treasury Department and the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) regarding review of tax regulations.

II. Paperwork Reduction Act

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid 
control number assigned by OMB.
    There is no collection of information contained in these proposed 
regulations. The collections of information contained in Sec. Sec.  
1.6055-1 and 301.6056-1 were previously reviewed and approved by OMB in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) 
and are associated with control numbers 1545-2251 (associated with Form 
1095-C) and 1545-2252 (associated with Form 1095-B).
    The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) relates to 
information collection requests by any government agency. A collection 
of information generally means the ``obtaining, causing to be obtained, 
soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, 
of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, 
calling for either (1) answers to identical questions posted to, or 
identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on ten or 
more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of 
the United States, or (2) answers to questions posed to agencies, 
instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be 
used for general statistical purposes.'' 44 U.S.C. 3502(3). A 
collection of information is commonly referred to as a reporting, 
recordkeeping, or disclosure requirement.
    These proposed regulations do not require a reporting entity to 
provide any information to the Federal government, to maintain specific 
records, or to disclose any additional information that the reporting 
entity did not already have a requirement to disclose.

III. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    When an agency issues a proposed rulemaking, the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) (Act) requires the agency to 
``prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis'' that ``describe[s] the impact of the proposed 
rule on small entities.'' 5 U.S.C. 603(a). The term ``small entities'' 
is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601 to mean ``small business,'' ``small 
organization,'' and ``small governmental jurisdiction,'' which are also 
defined in 5 U.S.C. 601. Small business size standards define whether a 
business is ``small'' and have been established for types of economic 
activities, or industry, generally under the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS). See Title 13, Part 121 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (titled ``Small Business Size Regulations''). The 
size standards look at various factors, including annual receipts, 
number of employees, and amount of assets, to determine whether the 
business is small. See Title 13, Part 121.201 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations for the Small Business Size Standards by NAICS Industry.
    Section 605 of the Act provides an exception to the requirement to 
prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis if the agency 
certifies that the proposed rulemaking will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    The Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that, although the 
overall impact of these proposed regulations will substantially reduce 
the burden on small entities, these proposed regulations, if finalized, 
will impact a substantial number of small entities and the economic 
impact on those small entities will be significant. As a result, 
although the impact of these regulations is positive for small 
entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is required.
    Description of the reasons why the agency action is being 
considered.
    The proposed regulations under Sec.  1.5000A-2 propose to make 
permanent the guidance in Notice 2020-66 regarding whether certain 
Medicaid coverage of COVID-19 testing and diagnostic services is 
minimum essential coverage. The proposed regulations under Sec. Sec.  
1.6055-1 and 301.6056-1 propose to make permanent the extension of time 
to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to responsible individuals and 
employees that has been provided every year since 2015. The proposed 
regulations under Sec.  1.6055-1 also allow reporting entities to 
furnish the statement required by section 6055 by providing notice on 
their website and by providing the statement to the responsible 
individual upon request.
    The proposed regulations under Sec.  1.5000A-2 will ensure that 
taxpayers have accurate guidance when determining whether they have 
minimum essential coverage, which in turn will assist taxpayers in 
determining whether they qualify for the premium tax credit. The 
proposed regulations under Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1 and 301.6056-1 will 
reduce the burden on reporting entities by extending the time to 
satisfy their reporting obligations with regard to health care coverage 
without worrying whether the penalty under section 6722 will be 
imposed. The extension should result in increased timely and accurate 
reporting. Those proposed regulations also reduce the burden on 
reporting entities by providing a low-cost option to satisfy the 
reporting obligation under section 6055 at a time when responsible 
individuals do not need the information to complete their returns.
    Statement of the objectives of, and the legal basis for, the 
proposed rule.
    The principal objectives of the proposed regulations are to provide 
taxpayers with definitive guidance of what constitutes, or does not 
constitute, minimum essential coverage, to provide reporting entities 
with a sufficient amount of time to complete and furnish accurate 
statements to responsible individuals and full-time employees, and to 
offer reporting entities under section 6055 a minimally burdensome 
option by which to furnish the required statement. The legal basis for 
defining minimum essential coverage is section 5000A(f)(1)(E), which 
provides the Secretary of the Treasury or her delegate (Secretary) with 
the authority to determine what types of health coverage constitute 
minimum essential coverage. The legal basis for the extended due date 
was originally set forth in the series of notices referenced in the 
Explanation of Provisions section above, under which the Treasury 
Department and the IRS extended the dates for furnishing statements to 
responsible individuals and full-time employees, providing that 
taxpayers that satisfy the furnishing requirement by the extended due 
date will not be subject to penalties under sections 6721 and 6722. 
Section 6724(a) provides that no penalty is imposed under section 6721 
or 6722 if it is shown that the failure is due to

[[Page 68946]]

reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. Section 7803(a)(2)(A) 
gives the Commissioner the power to administer, manage, conduct, 
direct, and supervise the execution and application of internal revenue 
laws. That same legal basis applies for these proposed regulations. 
Additionally, Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i)(B) and 301.6056-1(g)(1)(ii) 
provide the Secretary with the authority to provide extensions of time 
to furnish statements under sections 6055 and 6056. Regarding the form 
of the statement to be furnished, sections 6055(b)(1)(A) and 6056(b)(1) 
provide the Secretary with the authority to prescribe the form of the 
return that is the basis for the furnishing requirements in sections 
6055(c) and 6056(c).
    Description and estimate (where feasible) of the number of small 
entities subject to the proposed rule.
    The proposed regulations apply to health insurance issuers, self-
insured employers, government agencies, and other providers of minimum 
essential coverage required to furnish individual statements regarding 
such coverage under section 6055 and ALE members that are required to 
furnish information relating to health insurance that the ALE offers to 
its full-time employees under section 6056. An estimate of the number 
of small entities subject to the proposed regulations is not feasible 
because a correlation between small taxpayers and this type of 
reporting cannot be made. The proposed regulations affect all 
industries. Taxpayers using any NAICS code could be subject to the 
proposed regulations.
    Description of the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and related 
requirements of the proposed rule, including an estimate of the classes 
of small entities that will be subject to the requirements and the type 
of professional skills necessary for preparation of the report or 
record.
    As discussed in the Paperwork Reduction Act section above, these 
proposed regulations do not impose any reporting, recordkeeping, or 
similar requirements on any small entities.
    Identification, to the extent practicable, of all relevant Federal 
rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule.
    The proposed regulations do not duplicate, overlap, or conflict 
with any Federal statutes or other rules.
    Description of any significant alternatives to the proposed rule 
that accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and 
minimize any significant economic impact on small entities.
    The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that, without a 
legislative change, there are no viable alternatives to the provisions 
in the proposed regulations that would enable reporting entities to 
continue to satisfy their reporting obligations with a lesser burden.
    Accordingly, the Treasury Department and the IRS conclude that the 
provisions of the proposed regulations will most effectively promote 
sound tax administration. The revisions to the definition of what is 
not minimum essential coverage in Sec.  1.5000A-2 will provide concrete 
advice to ensure that taxpayers can adequately determine whether they 
have minimum essential coverage. An automatic extension of time to 
furnish statements under proposed Sec. Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(i) and 
301.6056-1(g)(1) will assist in timely and more accurate reporting. 
Last, the additional electronic manner of furnishing a statement in 
proposed Sec.  1.6055-1(g)(4)(ii)(B), at a time when the shared 
responsibility payment amount is zero, will help reporting entities 
reduce costs, while still satisfying their statutory reporting 
obligations. Accordingly, implementation of these proposed regulations 
will increase tax compliance by providing definitive guidance and will 
allow reporting entities the time needed to furnish timely and accurate 
statements, with minimal production and distribution burden regarding 
the furnishing.
    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Code, this notice of proposed 
rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel of the Office of 
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact 
on small business.

IV. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 
requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits and take 
certain other actions before issuing a final rule that includes any 
Federal mandate that may result in expenditures in any one year by a 
state, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million (updated annually for inflation). This proposed 
rule does not include any Federal mandate that may result in 
expenditures by state, local, or tribal governments, or by the private 
sector in excess of that threshold.

V. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled ``Federalism'') prohibits an agency 
from publishing any rule that has federalism implications if the rule 
either imposes substantial, direct compliance costs on state and local 
governments, and is not required by statute, or preempts state law, 
unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of 
section 6 of the Executive Order. This proposed rule does not have 
federalism implications and does not impose substantial direct 
compliance costs on state and local governments or preempt state law 
within the meaning of the Executive Order.

Comments and Requests for Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations or the 2016 proposed regulations 
are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any 
comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in this 
preamble under the ADDRESSES section. The Treasury Department and the 
IRS request comments on all aspects of these proposed regulations, as 
well as all aspects of the 2016 proposed regulations. Any electronic 
comments submitted, and to the extent practicable any paper comments 
submitted, will be made available at www.regulations.gov or upon 
request. All comments, including comments on the 2016 proposed 
regulations, should reference REG-109128-21.
    A public hearing will be scheduled if requested in writing by any 
person who timely submits written comments. Requests for a public 
hearing are also encouraged to be made electronically. If a public 
hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for the 
public hearing will be published in the Federal Register. Announcement 
2020-4, 2020-17 I.R.B. 1 (Apr. 20, 2020), provides that until further 
notice, public hearings conducted by the IRS will be held 
telephonically. Any telephonic hearing will be made accessible to 
people with disabilities.

Drafting Information

    The principal author of these proposed regulations is Gerald 
Semasek, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting). 
Other personnel from the Treasury Department and the IRS participated 
in their development.

List of Subjects

26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

26 CFR Part 301

    Employment taxes, Estate taxes, Excise taxes, Gift taxes, Income 
taxes, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

[[Page 68947]]

Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, IRS proposes to amend 26 CFR parts 1 and 301 as 
follows:

PART 1--INCOME TAXES

0
Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read in 
part as follows:

    Authority:  26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

0
Par. 2. Section 1.5000A-2 is amended by:
0
1. Revising paragraph (b)(2)(vii) and (viii);
0
2. Adding paragraph (b)(2)(ix).
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  1.5000A-2  Minimum essential coverage.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (vii) Coverage under section 1079(a), 1086(c)(1), or 1086(d)(1) of 
title 10, U.S.C., that is solely limited to space available care in a 
facility of the uniformed services for individuals excluded from 
TRICARE coverage for care from private sector providers;
    (viii) Coverage under section 1074a and 1074b of title 10, U.S.C., 
for an injury, illness, or disease incurred or aggravated in the line 
of duty for individuals who are not on active duty; and
    (ix) Medicaid coverage limited to COVID-19 testing and diagnostic 
services provided under section 6004(a)(3) of the Families First 
Coronavirus Response Act, Pub. L. 116-127, 134 Stat. 178 (March 18, 
2020).
0
Par. 3. Section 1.5000A-5 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  1.5000A-5  Administration and procedure.

* * * * *
    (c) Applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this 
paragraph (c), this section and Sec.  1.5000A-1 through 1.5000A-4 apply 
for months beginning after December 31, 2013. Section 1.5000A-
2(b)(2)(ix) applies for months beginning after September 28, 2020.
0
Par. 4. Section 1.6055-1 is amended by:
0
1. Revising the first sentence of paragraph (g)(1);
0
2. Revising paragraph (g)(4)(i) and (ii);
0
3. Revising paragraph (j).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  1.6055-1   Information reporting for minimum essential coverage.

* * * * *
    (g) * * * Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) 
of this section, every person required to file a return under this 
section must furnish to the responsible individual identified on the 
return a written statement. * * *
* * * * *
    (4) * * * (i) Time for furnishing--Except as otherwise provided in 
this paragraph (g)(4)(i), a reporting entity must furnish the 
statements required under paragraph (g)(1) of this section on or before 
January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the minimum 
essential coverage is provided. Reporting entities are granted an 
automatic extension of time not exceeding 30 days in which to furnish 
these statements.
    (ii) Manner of furnishing--(A) In general. Except as otherwise 
provided in paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) of this section, if mailed, the 
statement must be sent to the responsible individual's last known 
permanent address or, if no permanent address is known, to the 
individual's temporary address. For purposes of this paragraph 
(g)(4)(ii)(A), a reporting entity's first class mailing to the last 
known permanent address, or if no permanent address is known, the 
temporary address, discharges the requirement to furnish the statement. 
A reporting entity may furnish the statement electronically if the 
requirements of Sec.  1.6055-2 are satisfied.
    (B) Alternative manner of furnishing. A reporting entity shall be 
treated as furnishing the statement in a timely manner under this 
paragraph (g)(4) if the shared responsibility payment amount under 
section 5000A(c) for the calendar year in which the minimum essential 
coverage is provided is zero and the reporting entity satisfies the 
requirements in this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B). If the reporting entity 
is an applicable large employer member that sponsors a self-insured 
group health plan and makes a return in accordance with paragraph 
(f)(2)(i) of this section related to that plan, the applicable large 
employer member may use the alternative manner of furnishing described 
in this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B) for statements to non-full-time 
employees and non-employees who are enrolled in the applicable large 
employer's self-insured group health plan. A reporting entity may use 
the alternative manner of furnishing described in this paragraph 
(g)(4)(ii)(B) only if the reporting entity:
    (1) Provides clear and conspicuous notice, in a location on its 
website that is reasonably accessible to all responsible individuals, 
stating that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their 
statement upon request. The notice must include an email address, a 
physical address to which a request for a statement may be sent, and a 
telephone number that responsible individuals may use to contact the 
reporting entity with any questions. A notice posted on a reporting 
entity's website will satisfy the requirements of this paragraph 
(g)(4)(ii)(B)(1) if it is written in plain, non-technical terms and 
with letters of a font size large enough, including any visual clues or 
graphical figures, to call to a viewer's attention that the information 
pertains to tax statements reporting that individuals had health 
coverage. For example, a reporting entity's website provides a clear 
and conspicuous notice if it includes a statement on the main page--or 
a link on the main page, reading ``Tax Information'', to a secondary 
page that includes a statement--in capital letters, ``IMPORTANT HEALTH 
COVERAGE TAX DOCUMENTS''; explains how responsible individuals may 
request a copy of Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, (or, for an applicable 
large employer member that sponsors a self-insured group health plan 
and makes a return in accordance with paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this 
section, explains how non-full-time employees and non-employees who are 
enrolled in the plan may request a copy of Form 1095-C, Employer-
Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage); and includes the 
reporting entity's email address, mailing address, and telephone 
number;
    (2) Retains the notice in the same location on its website through 
October 15 of the year following the calendar year to which the 
statements relate (or the first business day after October 15, if 
October 15 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday); and
    (3) Furnishes the statement to a requesting responsible individual 
within 30 days of the date the request is received. To satisfy the 
requirement of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii)(B)(3), a reporting entity may 
furnish the statement electronically pursuant to Sec.  1.6055-2(a)(2) 
through (a)(6).
* * * * *
    (j) Applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this 
paragraph (j), this section applies for calendar years beginning after 
December 31, 2014. Paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(4)(i), and (g)(4)(ii) of this 
section apply for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2021, but 
reporting entities may choose to apply paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(4)(i), 
and (g)(4)(ii) of this section for calendar years beginning after 
December 31, 2020. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (j), 
paragraph (g)(4), as

[[Page 68948]]

contained in 26 CFR part 1 edition revised as of April 1, 2021, applies 
to calendar years ending after December 31, 2014 and beginning before 
January 1, 2022.

PART 301--PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION

0
Par. 5. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read in part 
as follows:

    Authority:  26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *
* * * * *
0
Par. 6. Section 301.6056-1 is amended by revising paragraphs (g)(1) and 
(m) to read as follows:


Sec.  301.6056-1   Rules relating to reporting by applicable large 
employers on health insurance coverage offered under employer-sponsored 
plans.

* * * * *
    (g) * * * (1) Time for furnishing--Except as otherwise provided in 
this paragraph (g)(1), each statement required by this section for a 
calendar year must be furnished to a full-time employee on or before 
January 31 of the year succeeding the calendar year in accordance with 
applicable Internal Revenue Service procedures and instructions. 
Applicable large employers are granted an automatic extension of time 
not exceeding 30 days in which to furnish these statements.
* * * * *
    (m) Applicability date. Except as otherwise provided in this 
paragraph (m), this section applies for calendar years beginning after 
December 31, 2014. Paragraph (g)(1) of this section applies for 
calendar years beginning after December 31, 2021, but applicable large 
employers may choose to apply paragraph (g)(1) of this section for 
calendar years beginning after December 31, 2020. Except as otherwise 
provided in this paragraph (m), paragraph (g)(1), as contained in 26 
CFR part 1 edition revised as of April 1, 2021, applies to calendar 
years ending after December 31, 2014 and beginning before January 1, 
2022.

Douglas W. O'Donnell,
Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2021-25785 Filed 12-3-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4830-01-P