Critical AIR Information for Software Developers and Transmitters

Health coverage providers and applicable large employers – and those assisting them in preparation for electronically filing the 2015 health care information returns - need to understand the IRS ACA Information Return electronic filing process. Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act Information Returns for Software Developers and Transmitters, outlines the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for returns transmitted electronically through the AIR system. To develop software for use with the AIR system, software developers, transmitters, and issuers should use the guidelines provided in this publication along with the XML schemas published on IRS.gov.

The procedures outlined in Publication 5165 should be used when the following information returns are transmitted electronically:

  • Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns
  • Form 1095-B, Health Coverage
  • Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns
  • Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

The transmittal Forms 1094-B and Forms 1094-C provide information about the issuer of the ACA information returns, while the Forms 1095-B and 1095-C provide information about the covered individuals. The procedures in Publication 5165 should be used in conjunction with the most current version of the following publications:

  • Publication 4557 – Safeguarding Taxpayer Data: A Guide for Your Business
    • This publication provides information on legal requirements to safeguard taxpayer data.
  • Publication 4600 – Safeguarding Taxpayer Information Quick Reference Guide for Businesses
    • This publication provides information on requirements to safeguard taxpayer information, safeguarding techniques, and data security incidents.
  • Publication 5164 – Test Package for Electronic Filers of Affordable Care Act Information Returns
    • This publication contains general and program specific testing information for use in completing the following guides and documents provide additional guidance for filing electronically through AIR.
  • AIR Submission Composition and Reference Guide
    • Guidance to IRS external partners, such as software developers, transmitters and issuers, with composing submissions and transmission files that are sent to the IRS for processing
  • Automated Enrollment External User Guide
    • The purpose of this document is to describe the user interface for the Automated Enrollment Application. The AE application provides authorized delegated users the ability to enroll and update Application System Identifications using the Integrated Enterprise Portal.

AIR publications and guides can be found at the AIR Program page on IRS.gov.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

April 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070.

April 10 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of March.

April 14 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 16 days of March.

April 18 — Individuals
File a 2016 income tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) and pay any tax due. If you want an automatic 6 month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. For more information, see Form 4868. Then, file Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ by October 16.

April 18 — Corporations
File a 2016 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax due. Details

April 18 — Individuals
If you are not paying your 2017 income tax through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2017 estimated tax. Use Form 1040ES.

April 18 — Household Employers
f you paid cash wages of $1,800 or more in 2016 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H Details

April 18 — Corporations
Deposit the first installment of estimated income tax for 2017 Details

April 18 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 18 — Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in March.

April 18 — Household employers
If you paid cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2016 to a household employee, you must file Schedule H (Form 1040). If you are required to file a federal income tax return (Form 1040), file Schedule H (Form 1040) with the return and report any household employment taxes. Report any federal unemployment (FUTA) tax on Schedule H (Form 1040) if you paid total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2015 or 2016 to household employees. Also, report any income tax you withheld for your household employees.

April 27 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 16 days of March.

April 29 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of April.

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