The Internal Revenue Service today issued interim guidance to employers on informational reporting on each employee's annual Form W-2 of the cost of the health insurance coverage they sponsor for employees. The IRS emphasized that this new reporting to employees is for their information only, to inform them of the cost of their health coverage, and does not cause excludable employer-provided health coverage to become taxable; employer-provided health coverage continues to be excludable from an employee's income, and is not taxable.
Using a question-and-answer format, Notice 2011-28 also provides guidance for employers that are subject to this requirement for the 2012 Forms W-2 and those that choose to voluntarily comply with it for either 2011 or 2012. The notice includes information on how to report, what coverage to include and how to determine the cost of the coverage.
The Notice provides transitional relief for employers filing fewer than 250 Forms W-2 in the previous calendar year. Under the transitional relief, these small employers will not be required to report until the IRS issues further guidance.