I received a panicked e-mail the other day from a client who works for the State of Iowa. Apparently the state is going to be slow on sending out Form 1095-C this year, and the way the state worded the memo to employees made it sound like people wouldn’t be able to file taxes without the form.
The client wanted to know if this was true, that they wouldn’t be able to file without the Form 1095-C.
The short answer is: you do not need to have Form 1095-C in your possession before you file.
Longer answer below.
There are 3 1095 forms, all relating to the Affordable Care Act:
- Form 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. This form is sent to people who get healthcare through a state exchange. If this applies to you, you MUST have this form before you can file your tax return.
- Form 1095-B: Health Coverage. This form is sent by insurance companies to individuals covered under a private health insurance plan.
- Form 1095-C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. This form is sent to employees, by employers who provide insurance coverage to employees.
Form 1095-B and 1095-C are not required in order to file your tax return.
See the following from the IRS website (my emphasis added):
3. Must I wait to file until I receive these forms?
If you are expecting to receive a Form 1095-A, you should wait to file your 2015 income tax return until you receive that form. However, it is not necessary to wait for Forms 1095-B or 1095-C in order to file.
Some taxpayers may not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2015 tax return. While the information on these forms may assist in preparing a return, they are not required. Individual taxpayers will generally not be affected by this extension and should file their returns as they normally would.
Like last year, taxpayers can prepare and file their returns using other information about their health insurance. You should not attach any of these forms to your tax return.
In the second paragraph, the IRS says “taxpayers will generally not be affected by this extension.” The “this extension” refers to the fact that insurance companies and employers have received an extension of time (til March 31) to get these forms out.
But to repeat: you don’t need Form 1095-B or 1095-C in order to file your tax return.