New IRS Guidance on W-2 Reporting of Health Plan Coverage

On March 29, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued additional guidance on how the value of group health plan coverage should be reported on Forms W-2. This guidance generally applies to the filing of the 2012 Forms W-2 (required to be furnished to employees in January 2013) but can be relied on by employers who voluntarily include the cost of coverage on the 2011 Forms. Amid rumor and speculation that this new reporting requirement will somehow render such coverage taxable, the IRS is clear that the purpose of this reporting requirement is merely to assist employees in comparing the cost of health care coverage.


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