Whew! You’ve sent out the 1095-C forms—again—and answered a ton of questions from your employees. You’re done with that project for the year.

But wait . . . what’s that in the mail bin? It looks suspiciously like . . . a 1095-C you sent out! It seems the post office returned it because the delivery address was invalid. If the 1095-C belongs to an employee who works on site, you could personally deliver it to him or her. But it belongs to a former employee, one who quit in October and obviously has moved since then. Where, you don’t know. What to do?


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instructions to Form 1095-C are a little vague on this issue. On page 6, under the section called “Furnishing Forms 1095-C to Employees,” the instructions say, “You will meet the requirement to furnish Form 1095-C to an employee if the form is properly addressed and mailed on or before the due date.” They go on to say, “… statements must be furnished on paper by mail (or hand delivered), unless the recipient affirmatively consents to receive the statement in an electronic format. If mailed, the statement must be sent to the employee’s last known permanent address, or if no permanent address is known, to the employee’s temporary address.”

What if you know neither a permanent nor temporary address?

At this point, we have no clear answer. After attempting to send the 1095-C and documenting the attempt you would be wise to keep evidence of your attempt and keep copies of each Form 1095-C available or accessible to provide to individuals who request theirs at a later date.

A possible course of action would be following IRS instructions for undeliverable W-2 forms. The 2017 instructions state on page 7, “Keep for 4 years any employee copies of Forms W-2 that you tried to but could not deliver. “

The IRS might issue more detailed instructions for undeliverable 1095s in the future. Watch for updates on ACA University and Regulatory Updates. Until then, focus on making good-faith, reasonable efforts.

Lois Mathis-Gleason, CEBS
Manager, Reference/Research Services at the International Foundation

Developed by International Foundation Information Center staff. This does not constitute legal advice. Please consult your plan professionals for legal advice.


Lois Gleason, CEBS

Manager, Reference/Research Services at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: The Employee Benefits Survey (conducted every few years; it is very comprehensive)

Benefits-related topic top picks: Affordable Care Act, multiemployer pension plans

Favorite Foundation conference moment: Working the bookstore/information center at the Employee Benefit Symposium and meeting our members Personal Insight: When she’s away from work, Lois likes to dive into 19th century Brit lit novels by Dickens, Eliot, Hardy and the Bronte sisters. These works are spicy and action-packed when compared to the employee benefit rules and regulations she reviews all day.

2 thoughts on “Return to Sender . . . Undeliverable 1095-Cs

  1. Randy Shelton

    This was very good information.

  2. Debra Kamikow

    Excellent info was looking all over for what to do!

Comments are closed.

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