Health care reform contains a provision that requires reporting of health care cost information that was to be reported on W-2s for the 2011 tax year. However, yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it will waive that requirement for 1 year. Under the reform law, employers were to have given health care cost information on 2011 W-2 statements that are distributed to employees in 2012. Under the relief, health care cost information will have to be reported on the 2012 W-2s, which are issued in 2013.

The IRS affirmed that this information would be used for "informational purposes only," but also recognized that employers would have difficulty making changes to their payroll and reporting procedures before the 2011 tax year. So the 1-year extension is intended to give additional time to develop a compliance process.