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Penn to Provide Tax Offset for Same-Sex Partners

May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34

The University of Pennsylvania has offered benefit coverage to the same-sex domestic partners of our faculty and staff for nearly 20 years.

All of our faculty and staff currently pay for healthcare coverage on a pre-tax basis. However, federal and Pennsylvania state tax codes do not recognize domestic partners as dependents for tax purposes. That means if you are covering a domestic partner under Penn’s benefit plans, you pay taxes on the value of the benefit extended to your partner.

To help offset these taxes, Penn will provide up to $125 per month (minus applicable taxes) to faculty and staff covering same-sex domestic partners under our medical plans as of July 1, 2012. These employees will receive up to $125 per month—up to a maximum of $1,500 per year—as additional taxable income in their paychecks beginning in late July.

Penn strives to provide comprehensive health coverage for all of our faculty and staff and their eligible dependents, and we have a long history of supporting our LGBT community. We were the first Ivy League institution and among the first Mid-Atlantic Region employers to include same-sex domestic partners in our benefits coverage. And now we’re among the first universities to provide this tax offset.

You can find additional details about the tax offset on the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu Affected employees will receive a letter with more information. If you have any questions, please contact the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236).

—Division of Human Resources

Almanac - May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34