Wednesday, May 23, 2012

U Of Penn Will Offer Tax Offsets To Employees In Same Sex Relationships


I've discussed in the past about my partner being taxed on the health benefits I received from his employer while I was unemployed.  Employers are starting to take it upon themselves to compensate their employees who are being legally penalized by state governments and the federal government.  Hopefully, the government will follow where wise progressive employers lead.
WASHINGTON -- The University of Pennsylvania is implementing a new policy that will offer benefits to faculty and staff in same-sex partnerships who are forced to pay more in taxes on health coverage than heterosexual married couples.
Same-sex marriage is not recognized under federal or Pennsylvania state tax laws. Therefore, faculty and staff at Penn who cover a domestic partner under one of the university's health care plans must pay taxes on that partners' benefits; the same is not true of a partner in a heterosexual marriage.
Penn's new policy, effective July 1, will help same-sex couples offset these taxes.
The university will provide up to $125 per month (minus applicable taxes) to faculty and staff covering same-sex domestic partners under a Penn medical plan.
"Penn's decision to offer these benefits is important," said Tobias Barrington Wolff, a professor at Penn Law School who has worked extensively on gay rights. He was also the first openly gay tenured member of the Penn Law School faculty.
"Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania have no rights under state law, so tax discrimination can have a particularly severe impact on the ability of Pennsylvania couples to provide for each other and their kids," he said. "[Penn] President [Amy] Gutmann is to be commended for her leadership on what is, at base, a simple matter of fairness. I hope that her peers at universities around the country will follow her example."

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