Employers: Software Testing Opens Oct. 31 for ACA Information Returns

IRS Tax Tip Number 2017-66, October 26, 2017

The Affordable Care Act requires some businesses to report information to the IRS about health coverage. These requirements apply to:

  • insurance companies
  • self-insured companies
  • applicable large employers
  • employers that provide health insurance to their employees

Organizations that electronically file this information need to do so by March 31. They file using the ACA Information Return system, also called AIR. Before filing, some organizations may need to test their systems.

The ACA Assurance Testing System opens Oct. 31, 2017 for tax year 2017 testing. AATS helps users test their software and processes before they file returns. Software developers – including employers and issuers – who passed AATS for tax years 2015 or 2016 are encouraged to test, but don’t need to test for tax year 2017. New filers need to comply with test requirements for tax year 2017.

If a business must file 250 or more information returns, it must file them electronically. This requirement applies separately for each type of return and each type of corrected return. The IRS encourages all filers to use AIR, even if they file fewer than 250 returns.

Some organizations file other returns, such as Forms 1099, through the Filing Information Returns Electronically system, or FIRE. Users cannot file ACA information returns through FIRE.

More Information:

  • IRS.gov/AIR
  • Publication 5164, Test Package for Electronic Filers of Affordable Care Act Information Returns –
  • Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing ACA Information Returns for Software Developers and Transmitters
  • Publication 5258, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) Submission Composition and Reference Guide