The IRS recently released long-awaited guidance for filers regarding TIN solicitation. The IRS proposed regulations for 6055 contain a number of clarifications for providers of health insurance. The most recent guidance—Notice 2015-68—filers received was released last September, just shy of a year ago.
The proposed regulations discussed comments from filers regarding necessary changes to TIN solicitation for Sec. 6055 because of the differences between information reporting as a health provider (governed by Sec. 6055 regulations) and as an employer (governed by Sec. 6056 regulations). As such, the proposed TIN solicitation guidelines only apply to providers of Minimum Essential Coverage—that is, those that report on the 1095-B and the 1095-C, Part III.
Generally, the guidelines also only apply to solicitation for missing TINs, as filers will generally need a different timeline because they become aware of incorrect TINs at a different time than becoming aware of missing TINs.
The following is everything MEC providers need to know from the proposed regulations when making TIN solicitations.
- Generally, initial solicitations are required when the account is “opened.” The proposed rules clarify that an account is considered “opened” on the date the filer receives a substantially complete application for new coverage, or a substantially complete application to add an individual to existing coverage.
- You should note that this rule will also apply for purposes of the initial solicitation for incorrect TINs.
- The first annual solicitation (second solicitation) must occur within 75 days after the account was opened, or if the coverage is retroactive, no later than the 75th day after the determination of retroactive coverage.
- For any individual enrolled in coverage on any day before July 29, 2016, the account is considered open July 29, 2016. Accordingly, reporting entities have satisfied the requirement for the initial solicitation with respect to already enrolled individuals so long as they requested enrollee TINs either as part of the application for coverage or at any other point before July 29.
- TIN solicitations made to the responsible individual for a policy or plan are treated as solicitations for every covered individual on the policy or plan. MEC providers must solicit TINs for each individual added to a policy. Any other individual for whom the MEC provider already solicited a TIN the prescribed amount of times need not solicit again.
New Proposed TIN Solicitation Process
As a result of the proposed regulations, the TIN solicitation process for missing TINs will look like this:
|Initial Solicitation||When the account is opened—i.e. the date the filer receives a substantially complete application for new coverage, or substantially complete application to add an individual to existing coverage. When the account is opened—i.e. the date the filer receives a substantially complete application for new coverage, or substantially complete application to add an individual to existing coverage.
For all enrolled individuals before July 29, 2016, accounts will be treated as “opened” on July 29, 2016.
|First annual (second total) solicitation||75 days after the account is opened.
For all enrolled individuals before July 29, 2016, the first annual solicitation must occur before approximately October 15, 2016.
|Second (third total) annual Solicitation||
December 31 of the year following the year after the account is opened.
For enrolled individuals before July 29, 2016, the second annual solicitation must occur before December 31, 2017.
You should remember that these proposed regulations only apply to MEC providers. The IRS has not released any proposed regulations relating to Sec. 6056.
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