Will 2012 W-2s Require Health Benefits Reporting?

Posted on Friday, January 04, 2013

Beginning with 2012 Forms W-2, large employers must report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored health insurance provided to employees. 2012 Form W-2s must be furnished to employees by January 31, 2013.

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) required that employers report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored health insurance provided on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. The IRS then exempted all employers from the requirement for 2011, making 2011 reporting optional.

Reporting took effect in early 2012, but only for large employers filing 250 or more Forms W-2 for the preceding calendar year (2011). Small employers are exempt from reporting for 2012 and beyond, until the IRS issues further guidance. An employer does not have to report the cost if it is not required to issue a Form W-2. This would be the case for a retiree or other former employee who does not receive compensation.

The aggregate reportable cost should be shown on Form W-2, Box 12, using Code DD. The IRS has reiterated that reporting is for informational purposes only, and that the cost of health insurance generally remains excludable from income.

Reporting applies to applicable coverage under any group health plan provided by an employer or employee organization, if the coverage is excludable from the employee's income would have been excludable if provided by the employer. Costs for self-insured plans and plans of self-employed persons are covered, unless the only coverage provided by the employer is a self-insured plan that is not subject to COBRA continuation coverage requirements (e.g. a self-insured church plan). Coverage does not include long-term care; accident or disability coverage; coverage for treatment of the mouth; and coverage only for a specified illness or disease.

Reportable costs include both employer costs and employee costs for the health insurance, even if the employee paid his or her share through pre-tax or salary reduction contributions. The aggregate cost includes the cost of coverage included in the employee's income, such as the cost of coverage for a person who is not a dependent or a child under age 27.

However, costs do not include amounts contributed to an Archer Medical Savings Account, health savings account, or health reimbursement arrangement, and salary reduction contributions made to a flexible spending arrangement.

Reporting is required of most employers, including federal, state, and local governments, and churches and other religious organizations.

Please contact our Fort Wayne or Marion office if you would like further information on how these new reporting obligations may apply to your business.

Posted in Tax And Accounting Topics For Business

Disclaimer: The information contained in Dulin, Ward & DeWald’s blog is provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice on any subject matter. Before taking any action based on this information, we strongly encourage you to consult competent legal, accounting or other professional advice about your specific situation. Questions on blog posts may be submitted to your DWD representative.

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