The Marriage Equality Act and Imputed Income
The Marriage Equality Act, signed by Governor Cuomo, became effective on
July 24, 2011. The Act amends the Domestic Relations Law to provide that a
marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid in New York regardless of
whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex.
Since the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) has recognized
same-sex spouses for eligibility purposes since May 1, 2007, NYSHIP benefits
and eligibility for benefits have not changed as a result of the Marriage
Equality Act. However, the Act does affect the tax treatment of NYSHIP
benefits for same-sex spouses who are not federally qualified dependents.
Prior to the Act, these spouses were subject to imputed income for both
Federal and State income tax purposes. The Act changes the tax treatment of
NYSHIP benefits by the State; as a result, effective July 24, 2011, NYSHIP
benefits for same sex spouses will no longer result in imputed income for
New York State tax purposes. Imputed income assessed prior to that date
Any employee who is enrolled in NYSHIP and has married their same-sex
domestic partner in New York or any jurisdiction that allows same-sex
couples to legally marry, and has not notified the Human Resource Benefits
office should do so immediately. You will need to submit a copy of your
marriage certificate to Human Resources (Cleveland Hall 410) so we can make
the appropriate adjustment to your records. As with any spouse, if the
marriage has been in effect for more than one year, current proof of
financial interdependence must also be provided.
We encourage you to contact your accountant, attorney or tax professional
with any questions related to the tax treatment of same-sex spouses.