Thursday, September 3, 2009

Taxation without Protestation

Today I got to see my first paycheck stub as a registered domestic partner, and I'm pretty annoyed. I'm grateful my domestic partner get on my health insurance, but I'm beginning to wonder if the costs are worth it.

In a single bi-weekly paycheck, I have to claim $196.77 as income that I will never see, and simply because Amy is not male. If she were male, we would be considered common law spouses and employer contributions to health/dental/vision plans would not be considered taxable income. But since Amy is not male, and we have to be domestically partnered instead of married, employer contributions to her health/dental/vision plans are added to my paycheck as taxable income that I will never see. $196.77. Per Paycheck. That's $196.77 x 24 paychecks annually, totaling $4,722.28 per year.

I'm no CPA, nor do I have any capabilities whatsoever to figure out how that adds up in terms of taxes paid, but I did look at old paychecks with similar gross pay (before the $196.77) and just can't believe how this might add up. The taxes I paid this paycheck are approximately twice that of what I paid on past paychecks with similar gross wages. That's approximately $60 extra per paycheck (approximately $1440 per year). $1,440 per year. Because Amy's a female. And if I happen to work multiple night shifts or pick up extra shifts, my gross pay will increase, leaving me even more vulnerable to extra taxation.

Somewhere factored into all this extra tax stuff is the lovely after-tax deductions that would be pre-tax deductions if Amy were male (and thank G-d she's not). Because we're not (and can't get) married, Amy's portions of the health/dental/vision premiums are considered post-tax deductions, which means an extra $33.09 per paycheck is considered taxable income, whereas if she were male, it would not be. That's an extra $794.16 a year of taxable income. According to my W-2's, I'ma be rich! If only my W-2's could pay the bills.

This is making me want to become a tea-bagger. But then again, I did domestically partner with a female for a reason... (To far? Yeah a bit so...but I couldn't help myself).

In all seriousness, I'm stunned at the hypocrisy of the tea-baggers. Why aren't they protesting this injustice? Why aren't they protesting the outrageous costs of war that our tax dollars fund? Why aren't they protesting the tax subsidies that corporations get for decimating local economies and polluting our water, land, and air? And I digress. But really--where is this in their discussion of extra tax burdens?

Yeah, I knew about the extra taxes going into this. And yeah, I'm grateful my employer will benefit my domestic partner. But I wanted to share with you all a tidbit of the reality of denying same-sex couples the rights to civil marriage. $1,440 a year.

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