IRS Delays Mandatory W-2 Reporting of Health Care Coverage Costs

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

From the IRS

On October 12, the IRS issued Notice 2010-69, providing interim relief to employers regarding reporting the costs of group health plan coverage to employees. Under the notice, notification to employees on Form W-2 will not be required for 2011.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, requires employers to include the aggregate cost of applicable employer-sponsored health care coverage on employees’ W-2s for tax years starting on or after January 1, 2011 (new Sec. 6051(a)(14)). The IRS has decided that employers need additional time to make changes to their payroll systems and procedures in order to comply with this rule. Therefore, the notice says the reporting requirement will not be mandatory for W-2s issued for 2011, and employers will not be subject to any penalties for failure to meet the requirements of Sec. 6051(a)(14) in 2011.

The IRS anticipates issuing guidance on the reporting requirement before the end of the year.

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