Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.
That's more than just a line from Madonna's latest single, it's also the sound of the rapidly approaching deadline to file your federal taxes. In preparation for that April 15th deadline the Human Rights Campaign has launched 7 Days to a Better Financial You, an educational campaign to provide you with resources and features to assist you in navigating the complicated tax laws and offer give tips on good financial decision-making.
Across the country, millions of same-sex couples face significant financial burdens and legal hurdles in building a secure future for their families. As a result of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages, these couples are denied access to the more than 1,100 federal benefits and protections available to married couples.
This means they can't take time off to care for a loved one without risking job loss; they can't provide survivor benefits to their partner or children despite a lifetime of payments into Social Security; they can't get equal pay for equal contribution as a federal employee or veteran; and they can't include their spouse or children on their employer-based health plan without facing significant tax penalties.
According to the Williams Institute, the average employee who receives partner benefits pays an additional $771 per year out of pocket in federal taxes based on the value of those benefits.
In other words, GLBT people pay more and get less.
HRC is also joining forces with a bipartisan group of members of Congress to advocate for a legislative agenda known as Family Matters to pass laws that provide equal rights and responsibilities for same sex couples and their families. The proposed legislation includes the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, the domestic partnership tax bill and the Domestic Partnership Benefit and Obligations Act or DPBO.
The HRC website has more info including details of a national web chat on Thursday April 10 at 3pm EST to answer your questions, the basics of financial planning and legal documents that can be used to protect your relationship.