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Nov. 15: Deadline to file for DOMA-eligible tax refunds

The IRS has now issued guidance regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and individuals’ ability to recoup taxes paid in previous years. Employees and retirees are now able to reclaim income taxes for open taxable years—usually up to three years. With guidance in place, UC has now set a process for helping employees and retirees recoup back taxes.

If you were married as of Dec. 31 of any calendar year, you are treated as married for the full calendar year. For example, if you legally married on March 1, 2013 (and are still married on Dec. 31, 2013), you will be treated as married for the entire year. This means that if your new spouse (former domestic partner) was covered under your UC-sponsored health plan for all of 2013, UC’s portion of the premium for your spouse’s coverage will not be treated as “imputed income,” and any taxes related to this coverage that were withheld from your paycheck can be refunded.

It is important to report your marriage to the UCOP BRC Payroll Team as soon as possible so that UC can refund any 2013 taxes previously withheld. To do so, fill out the UPAY 850 form, available on the At Your Service website, and submit it to the BRC Payroll Team. (Retirees should report a marriage to the UC Retirement Administration Service Center by completing the UBEN 100 form.)

If you want to get a refund of FICA taxes withheld in a prior year open under statute, and there was a marriage in place, you will need to complete a consent form, available from the UCOP Payroll Team, by Nov. 15, 2013.

The form gives your consent for UC to request the FICA tax refund on your behalf. UC will submit the request for affected employees and retirees and will send your FICA refund to you once UC receives it. UC will also send you a W2-c, which you can use to file an amended tax return requesting a refund of federal income taxes.

If you want a W2-c for income tax refund purposes only and do not want a FICA refund, ask your Payroll Office to provide the W2-c.

If you have any questions, contact BRC Payroll Team Lead Ana Trejo at 510-987-9057 or

See At Your Service for additional information about the effects of DOMA on compensation and benefits, including a chart with information on the effect of the DOMA ruling on all UC benefits for employees and retirees with a same-gender spouse.

The ruling and benefits changes do not apply to same-sex domestic partners.

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