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IRS Issues Interim Guidance to Employers on W-2 Reporting of Health Coverage Costs

On March 29th the Internal Revenue Service (?Ç£IRS?Ç¥) issued Notice 2011-28 to provide interim guidance to employers with respect to reporting the cost of group health insurance provided to employees. By way of background, the new health care reform law added Section 6015(a)(14) to the Internal Revenue Code, which generally provides that the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage must be reported on each covered employee’s Form W-2. However, this reporting requirement is only for informational purposes and does not cause employer-provided health care coverage to become taxable income to employees. Previously, in Notice 2010-69, the IRS made this new reporting requirement optional for all employers for the 2011 Forms W-2 (which would generally be distributed to employees in January 2012). Notice 2011-28 only applies beginning with the 2012 Forms W-2 (which employers will furnish to employees in January 2013). Additionally, Notice 2011-28 provides that this Form W-2 reporting requirement is optional for smaller businesses, i.e. those filing fewer than 250 Forms W-2, prior to January 2014. Notice 2011-28 can be found here.

The lawyers of our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Group are readily able to assist companies on a nationwide basis with implementing sophisticated benefit plans and providing answers to their most challenging compensation issues. Additionally, our lawyers are well aware of the daily employee benefits challenges facing companies of all sizes and are capable of helping in-house lawyers and human resources personnel with the day-to-day advice and guidance necessary to properly administer employee benefits plans.

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April 2011