Facebook Joins Employers Extending Domestic Partner Tax Benefit

January 3, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The Facebook social media giant is the latest in a string of employers to cover the extra taxes imposed on gay employees with domestic partners for the value of their partners’ employer-provided health coverage. 

A New York Times blog said Facebook joins Bain & Company, Google and Barclays bank in making the move; the Times said Boston Consulting is expected to likewise adopt the tax reimbursement policy (see Barclays to Cover Gay Employee Health Benefits Tax )  A handful of other large organizations, including Cisco, Kimpton Hotels and the Gates Foundation also cover these costs.

“This is a simple matter of fairness,” Russ Hagey, a Bain senior partner and the firm’s chief talent officer, told the Times.

According to the Times blog, without such reimbursement, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes, on average, than a married employee with the same coverage.

Bain said its employees would receive a lump sum reimbursement at the end of each year, essentially a separate line item to cover the taxes.  A spokesman for Facebook told the newspaper that employees’ W-2 forms would be adjusted so that they wouldn’t have to pay for the extra tax.