Feb 17th 2012
By AccountingWEB Staff
The US audit, tax, and advisory firm of KPMG LLP announced it now offers its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) partners and employees offsets for the additional federal and state tax costs incurred when they pay for same-sex domestic partner medical benefits. The tax equalization benefits will cover the 2012 tax year.
"We are committed to a culture of inclusiveness and value the contributions of all of our people," said John B. Veihmeyer, Chairman and CEO of KPMG. "Diversity is a business imperative. For our firm to continue to be a great place to work and build a career, we must be able to attract and retain the best people with the skills and determination to deliver above and beyond, regardless of their sexual orientation."
Jody Huckaby, Executive Director of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), praised KPMG's announcement, calling it a "win-win for everyone."
"PFLAG National knows from our work with KPMG over the years that it is a company committed to creating the best workplace possible for all of its employees," said Huckaby. "This new benefit is yet another indication of that commitment. KPMG's comprehensive employee education program, dedicated to creating more workplace allies, and now its . . . domestic partner benefits program have helped create culture change that strengthens talent acquisition and retention, improves morale, increases productivity, and ultimately, creates a healthier bottom line."
In addition, Eliza Byard, PhD, Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), said, "The senior leadership at KPMG is to be commended for its decision. By adopting a tax-equalization benefit, KPMG has moved to the front ranks of LGBT-friendly employers. Recruitment and retention of talent, especially among the most recent college and high-school graduates, is critical to business success as the students of today become the workforce of tomorrow."
KPMG's US employees who pay for medical and dental benefits for same-sex domestic partners who do not meet the Internal Revenue Code definition of "dependent" will be credited at the end of the year with additional tax withholding funded by KPMG. KPMG said that those individuals affected will be provided with information explaining how the gross up will be administered.
"This decision is great news, both for our LGBT network and for KPMG as a whole," said Tim Stiles, a tax partner and cochair of the firm's Pride@KPMG diversity network and Pride Advisory Board. "The firm's leadership team has demonstrated its commitment to making sure KPMG is part of an elite group of progressive employers who recognize the importance of this benefit for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender employees."
Among others, KPMG has received the following national honors:
- John Veihmeyer, Chairman and CEO of KPMG, was honored in June with the CEO Diversity Leadership Award from Diversity Best Practices (DBP).
- KPMG was named one of Work Life Matters magazine's Top Companies for LGBT Equality for 2011.
- The firm was named a 2012 Best Places to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which rates organizations on their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. KPMG has received a 100 percent rating on the HRC's Corporate Equality Index for eight consecutive years.
- KPMG was named in DiversityInc's 2011 Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the fourth consecutive year. KPMG also made three of DiversityInc's specialty lists this year: No. 2 among the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, No. 1 among the Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees, and No. 6 among the Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity.