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April 04, 2011
IRS Issues Guidance on W-2 Reporting Requirement, Relief for Small Employers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued interim guidance concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement to report the cost of employer-provided health care coverage on the Form W-2. Under the new interim guidance, reporting is voluntary for small employers in 2012.

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Under the ACA, effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2010, employers are required to report on Form W-2 the total cost of group health coverage, including the portion paid by the employer and the portion paid by the employee. Last year, the IRS issued guidance making the reporting requirement voluntary for all employers on 2011 Form W-2.

This week, the IRS provided further relief to small employers—employers with less than 250 W-2 forms. Under the new guidance (, small employers will not be required to report the cost of employer-provided health care coverage on 2012 Form W-2 as well.

The IRS reminds employers that the new reporting requirement is intended to be informational only, and to provide employees with greater transparency into overall health care costs.

For more information on how healthcare reform may affect your organization, visit Healthcare Reform: A Resource Center for Employers.

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