Notice 2012-9: Restated Guidance on W-2 Reporting



Summary of IRS Notice 2012-9

The IRS has restated and amended the interim guidance on informational reporting to employees of the cost of their employer-sponsored group health plan coverage initially provided in Notice 2011-28.  Notice 2012-9 supersedes Notice 2011-28 and makes the following changes to the guidance provided in Notice 2011-28:

Click on the links in the text below to go to the section referenced in Notice 2012-9

The notice also provides the following additional guidance through new Q&A’s:

The reporting is intended to inform employees of the cost of their health care coverage, and does not cause excludable employer-provided health care coverage to become taxable. This notice provides interim guidance that generally is applicable beginning with 2012 Forms W-2 (that is, the forms required for the calendar year 2012 that employers are generally required to give employees by the end of January 2013 and then file with the SSA).

Transition Relief 

As explained above, this notice provides transition relief for certain employers and with respect to certain types of employer-sponsored coverage.  This transition relief will be available at least for 2012 Forms W-2 and the availability of this transition relief for 2012 Forms W-2 will not be affected by the issuance of any further guidance.  Thus, reporting by employers and with respect to the types of coverage covered by the exceptions provided in this notice will not be required for 2012 Forms W-2.  For example, as provided in Q&A-3 of this notice, employers that are required to file fewer than 250 2011. Forms W-2 will not be subject to the reporting requirement for 2012 Forms W-2.

 Interim Guidance

The interim guidance is set forth in section III of this notice.  Q&A-1 and Q&A-2 discuss the general requirements.  Q&A-3 identifies the employers subject to the reporting requirements.  Q&A-4 through Q&A-10 provide the methods for reporting the cost of the coverage on the Form W-2.  Q&A-11 through Q&A-15 define certain terms related to the cost of coverage required to be reported on the Form W-2.  Q&A-16 through Q&A-23 set forth the types of coverage the cost of which is required to be included in the amount reported on the Form W-2.  Q&A-24 through Q&A-27 describe several calculation methods that may be used to determine the cost of the coverage.  Q&A-28 through Q&A-31 address a number of other issues employers may encounter in determining the cost of the coverage.  Q&A-32 through Q&A-38 contain additions to the guidance initially set forth in Notice 2011-28.  Section IV of this notice contains transition relief for certain employers and with respect to certain types of employer-sponsored coverage.  Section V of this notice states that Notice 2011-28 is superseded.