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UC outlines benefits changes resulting from DOMA ruling

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service recently issued additional guidance regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, and UC Human Resources has completed its operational review of changes required as a result of the June 26 ruling. As a result, HR can now provide additional information regarding taxes and UC benefits for employees and retirees affected by the ruling.

Per IRS guidance, changes to federal tax treatment apply to all same-sex married couples, regardless of where they live. In light of that guidance, UC will continue to update records for those who identify themselves as having a same-gender spouse, and taxes will no longer be withheld on the value of UC’s contribution to benefits for a spouse and/or a spouse’s children.

The IRS has also issued initial guidance regarding individuals’ ability to recoup taxes paid in previous years. Employees and retirees are now able to reclaim taxes for open taxable years—usually up to three years. They will be able to recoup both income tax and FICA taxes (social security and Medicare).

Typically, employers apply for refunds of FICA taxes on behalf of employees, and the IRS provides a process to follow. However, UC and other employers do not yet have the necessary instructions for reclaiming FICA taxes. Until those instructions are released, UC is not able to provide amended W2 forms for employees.

An employee’s tax advisor could provide guidance on reclaiming income tax without a revised W2 form.

For more, see the following online resources:

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