By Daniel Cross
While the political problem of same-sex marriage is still being discussed, the federal judgment making the Defense of Marital relationship Act unconstitutional means that for tax purposes all marriages are equivalent. Even if you live in among the 14 states that have yet to make same-sex marriage legal, filing taxes is now a different treatment for gay married couples.
Same-sex spouses are not guaranteed to benefit by having the ability to submit collectively now. In many cases, couples in which both partners are high earners may see a penalty for submitting jointly, while newer laws might impact those that are self-employed. Certain tax situations can be complicated, and same-sex couples must think about seeking advice fromspeaking with a tax professional for support, especially if they reside in a state that does not acknowledge same-sex marital relationship.
Here are some suggestions and considerations when it concerns filing taxes for same-sex couples this year.
1. Joint Return Condition
Arguably the most significant impact to same-sex couples considering that DOMA was rescinded is that they can now file joint tax returns. Look at the distinction between filing individually and collectively for 2015, based upon an annual earnings of $100,000: The individual return topics an individual to $21,071.25 in taxes, while the joint filer just pays $16,587.50. Thats a distinction of thousands.
2. Tax-Free Staff member Advantages
Same-sex couples can now enjoy the benefits of tax-free, employer-sponsored advantage plans. If one spouse works for a company that offers specific benefits like healthcare plans or flexible spending accounts, the other partner might now be qualified for protection, therefore eliminating the requirement for same-sex couples to have numerous benefit plans.
3. Modifying Past Returns
If a couple was married however submitting separately in 2010, 2011 or 2012, they ought to consider returning and changing those previous tax returns to read as joint filings instead. As discussed before, the amount of taxes owed can vary significantly from individual to joint returns, and might translate into a considerable refund. Couples thinking about doing this need to submit the modification before April 15 if they want to include these statements.
4. Tax-Free Gifts
Married same-sex couples can now offer endless tax-free presents to their spouse. While this seemsappears like it would only impact high earners, it also indicates that items like IRAs can be offeredoffered to a partner without incurring any tax charge.
5. Balancing out Capital Gains and Losses
The ability to balance out capital gains with losses now includes same-sex couples. If one spouse understands a capital gain and the other a loss, they can balance out the taxes by integrating the two deals. This efficiently doubles the variety of investment tax possibilities.
6. Home Sale Exemption
Single taxpayers can leave out as much as $250,000 in taxes from the sale of a primary home, while couples can exclude as much as $500,000.
7. Deductible Alimony
Payments made to a partner based upon a court order such as alimony might now be tax-deductible for same-sex spouses instead of being dealt with as a taxable present.
8. Social Security Conveniences
The Social Security Administration currently provides advantages for same-sex spouses just in the states that enable same-sex marriage. However, when and if the state laws change, this standard will likely be retroactively used, indicating couples that declared Social Security benefits that werent paid previously will be made up for them.