IRS Releases 2020 Publication 5258

Robert Beck
January 12, 2021

The IRS recently released its 2020 Publication 5258, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) Submission Composition and Reference Guide. This guide is for processing of ACA related forms during processing year 2021. There were some notable changes to the document which have been detailed below. In addition to these changes, several changes were made to the checklists at the end of the document along with some minor formatting and language changes.

  • Note added regarding 2.2 ISS-A2A Channel – All external partner communication will need to support encryption using TLS 1.2 Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 140-2. Compliant cryptography will be used for strong and secure communication between Transmitters and IRS.

  • Pg. 10 OriginalReceiptId eFile type changed to String80Type

  • Pg. 13 AttachmentByteSizeNum eFile Type changed to AttachmentByteSizeNumType

  • eFile Type Definition changed from integer to string “([1-9]{1}[0-9] {0,})|([0])”/> maxLength = 12

  • Numerous changes to  Manifest XML Sample File

  • Form Data File XML Sample changed

  • Added Transmitter sending returns through UI Channel (AATS and Production) for 2020

  • In Sample of ACAGetTransmitterBulkRequestService: Line change – Removed “<urn:1” from AttachmentBytesSizeNum line as shown below (pg. 48 old, pg. 47 new)

  • Removed from IRS Authorized Certificate Issuing Authorities

  • Identrust ACES SSL; Identrust ACES Business Representative

  • Section 5.5.4 A2A Channels – Added TY2020 Schema/WSDL Guidance Notations

  • Section 6.5.5 Transmitting Forms 1094-C and Forms 1095-C Corrections

  • Element changed to “Authoritative Transmittallnd”. Should be populated with “0”.

  • Form Line Num. 8 added definition G, Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA), Changed F to Miscellaneous Minimum Essential Coverage

  • Block added for ICHRA Information to Part II Employee Offer and Coverage (pg. 100)

  • Form Line Numbers

  • “Name of each covered individual: changed to 18a-30a.

  • “Covered Individuals” changed to 17b/c-22b/c

  • “Annual or Monthly Coverage” changed to 17d-22d

  • “Months of Coverage” changed to 17e-22e

  • End section taken off of 8.1.2 Form Data File

  • Added TY2020 to 11.2.2 Error and Business Rule Library

  • Table 12-1 Portal Error Codes

  • Added TPE1101

  • Added Code TPE1123

To view the complete publication, click here.

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Robert Beck

Robert Beck is a Junior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos Compliance. As part of the Regulatory Analysis team, his main areas of focus are state and federal tax withholding, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Robert is a member of the Massachusetts Bar and received his J.D. from New England Law | Boston and his B.A. in Justice from University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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