The IRS recently issued a draft Form W-2 for 2011 and announced that, although the form includes codes that employers may use to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan, doing so will be optional for 2011.
The Affordable Care Act imposed this new reporting requirement for employer-sponsored group health plans, but the Treasury Department and IRS decided to defer the requirement so that employers have more time to make changes to their payroll systems or procedures.
The IRS stresses that the amounts reportable for the cost of coverage are not taxable and are aimed at providing employees with greater transparency into overall health care costs. The agency plans to publish upcoming guidance on the new requirement.
The draft Form W-2 is available on the IRS website.