What is the latest information on Health Care Benefits Reporting?

Originally, with the passage of the new health care law, beginning in 2011, employers were to report health care benefits for employees. This amount would be reported on each employee’s form W-2, but it would not affect an employee’s individual taxable income.

There are many internet rumors which say that this reporting requirement, of placing health care coverage information on the W-2, would increase taxable income. This is not true. The main intent of the requirement is to have individuals understand the true cost of health care coverage.

Below is information presented by the Internal Revenue Service concerning Notice 2011-28 with regards to the voluntary reporting of health care coverage on an employee’s W-2 for 2011.

Health Care ProvisionsEmployer-Provided Health Coverage — Not Taxable; Reporting is Voluntary for All Employers for 2011 and Small Employers for 2012

Starting in tax year 2011, the Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan. To give employers more time to update their payroll systems, Notice 2010-69, issued last fall, made this requirement optional for all employers in 2011. IRS Notice 2011-28 provided further relief for smaller employers filing fewer than 250 W-2 forms by making the reporting requirement optional for them through 2012 and continuing this optional treatment for smaller employers until further guidance is issued. Notice 2011-28 also includes information on how to report, what coverage to include and how to determine the cost of the coverage.

The 2011 Form W-2 is available for viewing on IRS.gov. This is the W-2 that most employees will receive in early 2012. The form includes the codes that employers may use to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan.

This reporting is for informational purposes only, to show employees the value of their health care benefits so they can be more informed consumers. The amount reported does not affect tax liability, as the value of the employer contribution to health coverage continues to be excludible from an employee’s income, and it is not taxable.

Please give us a call if you would like additional information on this or any other area of W-2 reporting and how it may relate to your specific situation.

About Blackman & Sloop CPAs, P.A.:

Blackman & Sloop is a full-service CPA firm headquartered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and is actively involved in auditing, taxation, management consulting, financial planning, and related services. The firm directs a large part of its services toward providing management with advice on budgeting, forecasts, projections, financing decisions, financial analysis, and tax developments. The firm also performs review and compilation services and prepares not-for-profit, corporate, individual, estate, retirement plan, and trust tax returns as well as technology consulting services regarding installation and training on QuickBooks. Blackman & Sloop provides services in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, RTP, Hillsborough, Pittsboro, Charlotte, and the rest of North Carolina. To find out more please visit http://www.blackmansloop.com

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