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

May 2 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2017. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until May 10 to file the return.

May 2 — Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.

May 2 — Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the first quarter of 2017.

May 2 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during March.

May 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer Details

May 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

May 11 — 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 April.

May 13 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 15 days of April.

May 16 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 16 — Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 25 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 15 days of April.

May 27 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of May.

May 31 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during April.

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