Same-Sex Spouses and Domestic Partners: Benefits and Taxes

Webinar: ID# 1014571
Recorded CD
About This Course:
In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Since the decision, more than a dozen courts have found state laws prohibited same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional.

Even before states began recognizing these relationships, employers were in the lead providing benefits to same-sex couples to attract and retain employees. The Windsor decision, subsequent decisions, and employer developments have led to complex rules with respect to the taxation of employer benefits.

This training session focuses on what the decision and the trend in recognition means for employers and their benefit plans. For instance:
  • What is the impact of the court decisions?

  • What spousal benefits are addressed under ERISA and the Code?
  • Must employers provide benefits for same-sex spouses?

  • What is the tax withholding and reporting impact?

  • How does the growth in state recognition of same-sex marriage impact benefits?
This webinar reviews these developments with respect to states recognizing same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships; the growth in employer provided benefits for same-sex couples; and the impact of these developments on employer payroll withholding and reporting obligations.

Employers that fail to review their payroll practices run the risk of under reporting income and owing federal and state penalties for failure to properly withhold and report income.

Employers also run a risk of employee complaints if the value of benefits is included in income when it is exempt under federal or state income tax. This live webinar is a must for human resource professionals and payroll professionals to assure they are up-to-date on these issues.


  • Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
  • Supreme Court Decision – U.S. v. Windsor
  • Subsequent Court Decisions
  • ERISA and Same-Sex Marriage
  • Internal Revenue Code and Same-Sex Marriage
State Recognition
  • Same-Sex Marriages
  • Civil Unions
  • Domestic Partnerships
Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses and Domestic Partners
  • Health Benefits
  • Welfare Benefits
  • Retirement Plans
  • Nonqualified Plans
  • Benefits Not Subject to ERISA
Federal Taxation of Benefits
  • Same-Sex Spouses
  • Domestic Partners
State Taxation of Benefits
  • States With No Income Tax
  • States With Income Tax That Recognize Same-Sex Spouses or Domestic Partners
  • States With Income Tax That Do Not Recognize Same-Sex Spouses or Domestic Partners
Valuing Benefits
  • Methods for Valuing Health Benefits
  • Examples
Form W-2 Reporting
  • Overview
  • Income Tax Reporting on Form W-2
About Your Presenter

Timothy D.S. Goodman
  • Partner with the global law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Advises employers on wellness programs and health plans, and on retirement plans and executive compensation
  • Advises employers on DOL, IRS and EEOC guidance on wellness programs, responding to benefit claims, answering questions regarding the extension of health coverage under COBRA and state law, and COBRA subsidies
  • Advises employers on severance, benefit matters related to reductions in force, retirement plan corrections and compliance, and deferred compensation
  • Focuses on hospital and health care employers, agricultural and cooperative employers, and tax-exempt employers
  • Former president of the Midwest Pension Conference and the Minneapolis Pension Council
  • Member of the American Bar Association’s Tax and Labor and Employment Sections, and the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Section and Tax Section
  • Frequent speaker on health care reform, wellness, benefit and compensation topics
Same-Sex Spouses and Domestic Partners: Benefits and Taxes
Available on CD format
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