Press

Task Force Action Fund applauds introduction of the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act

Date: 
May 22, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, May 22 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund applauds the introduction of the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act. The bill, which would end the tax inequities regarding employer-provided health insurance for domestic partners, was introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

“We are pleased to support this legislation that seeks to remedy what is essentially tax code discrimination. Currently, same-sex couples who receive domestic partner benefits face a tax burden that their heterosexual counterparts do not. While coverage for beneficiaries such as spouses or dependents is not considered taxable income, benefits received by domestic partners can be taxed. In addition, the value of domestic partner benefits is included in the employee’s wages for the purpose of calculating payroll taxes, thus it increases both the employee’s and the employer’s payroll tax obligations.

“An increasing number of businesses across the country offer domestic partner benefits, including the majority of Fortune 500 companies. These businesses have realized the importance of creating a diverse workplace, and that employees should be judged based on merit, not sexual orientation. It is only logical to adapt the tax code so it treats these employers and employees with fairness, not punish them for providing benefits.

“The health benefits of domestic partners should be treated the same as any other health benefit. It is time to end this inequity and remove the undue burden on workers and businesses.”

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.