Senate Bill Seeks Tax Change for Domestic Partner Benefits

October 8, 2003 ( - Legislation has been introduced in the United States Senate to amend the Internal Revenue Code to modify the tax treatment of domestic partner health insurance benefits.

>Senate Bill 1702, sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) and Bob Graham (D-Florida), would modify the definition of dependent in the code, as it applies to employer-provided health benefits to be any beneficiary allowed by the health plan.   With this change, the bill would extend the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided health coverage to designated plan beneficiaries of employees.  

>Thus, domestic partner benefits would be given the same tax treatment as health insurance benefits for spouses and legal dependents.   As the code currently stands, domestic partner insurance benefits are taxable to both the employee and the employer.  

The bill is currently pending in the Senate Finance committee.   Text of the legislation can be found at .