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National Restaurant Association - Small employers get further reprieve on mandate for W-2 reporting of employee health insurance cover

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Small employers get further reprieve on mandate for W-2 reporting of employee health insurance coverage

The IRS has again delayed a mandate that will require employers to report the value of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage on employees' W-2 forms.

The IRS is giving smaller employers, defined as those who file fewer than 250 W-2 forms, at least one more year before reporting is mandatory.

The mandate was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, last year's health care reform law. PPACA originally required employers to start reporting the value of employees' health insurance benefits on tax year 2011 W-2 forms, which employers generally distribute to employees in January 2012.

But last fall, the IRS made the 2011 reporting optional for all employers and said the rule would instead take effect for tax year 2012 W-2 forms, usually filed in January 2013.

This week the IRS took the additional step of making the mandate optional for smaller employers at least for tax year 2012 W-2 forms. The optional treatment for smaller employers will continue until further guidance is issued, the IRS said in interim guidance published March 29.

The reporting is for information purposes only, not to assess or collect taxes from employers or employees.

Visit the IRS for more information. The agency will take comments through late June on its interim guidance.

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