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

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

February 10 — Certain small employers
File Form 944 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Farm employers
File Form 943 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

February 10 — Federal unemployment tax
File Form 940 for 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full.

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

February 15 — All businesses
Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2017 Details

February 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in January.

February 15 — All employers
Begin withholding income tax from the pay of any employee who claimed exemption from withholding in 2017, but did not give you Form W4 to continue the exemption this year.

February 15 — Individuals
If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4, you must file a new Form W-04 by this date to continue your exemption for another year Details

February 19 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Washington's Birthday) Details

February 28 — All businesses
File information returns (for example, Forms 1099) for certain payments you made during 2017.

February 28 — Payers of gambling winnings.
File Form 1096 along with Copy A of all the Forms W2G you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2G electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — All employers
File Form W3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, along with Copy A of all the Forms W2 you issued for 2017. If you file Forms W2 electronically, your due date for filing them with the SSA will be extended to 03-31. The due date for giving the recipient these forms remains 01-31.

February 28 — Large food and beverage establishment employers
File Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips. Use Form 8027T, Transmittal of Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, to summarize and transmit Forms 8027 if you have more than one establishment. If you file Forms 8027 electronically, your due date for filing them with the IRS will be extended to 03-31.

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