Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress to stop the federal tax inequities faced by same-sex couples when they receive employer-provided health care benefits.
Specifically, under current law employers are subject to payroll tax, and employees to income and payroll taxes, for the value of providing healthcare coverage to a domestic partner.
The legislation in the Senate is S. 1556, the “Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2007.” Companion legislation, H.R. 1820, was introduced March 29 in the House by Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.
Under the legislation introduced June 6 by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the inequity in the tax deduction for healthcare benefits for same-sex couples would be ended. In addition, the new law would encourage employers to increase health plan coverage for same-sex couples by reducing administrative burdens, Smith said.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Ind.-Conn., is an original co-sponsor of the legislation.
Margery Brittain, vice president of global benefits for MetLife, voiced support for the legislation on behalf of MetLife and the Business Coalition for Benefits Tax Equity.