Starting January 1, Microsoft and Yahoo! will increase the pay of gay workers receiving domestic partner benefits to compensate for the extra tax they pay, the New York Times reported.

Unlike heterosexual employees, employer-provided health benefits offered to the partners of gay workers are counted as taxable income by the IRS (unless the partner is considered a dependent), because their unions are not recognized by federal agencies. Blocking the IRS from recognizing gay unions is the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union.

A report released in 2007 by M. V. Lee Badgett, research director at the Williams Institute, found that gay employees with partners pay, on average, $1,069 per year more in taxes than would a married employee with the same coverage.

Microsoft and Yahoo! are joining a growing list of companies equalizing benefits for gay workers, including Bank of America, Google, Morgan Stanley, Facebook and American Express, among others.