January 09, 2015
Janis Cowhey, Co-Leader of the LGBT Practice Group & Shauna Dell, Tax & Business Services Manager, Quoted in South Florida Business Journal Article, "Tax and Estate Planning Advice for Florida Newlywed Same-Sex Couples."
By Nina Lincoff
Florida became the 36th state to allow same-sex marriage this week and, with wedding bells ringing, there are a couple of things for newlywed or about-to-be-wed same-sex couples to consider on the tax and estate planning front. With marriage comes paperwork.
"For couples, its great news. If your state recognizes your marriage, you're home," said Janis Cowhey McDonagh, tax partner and co-leader of the LGBT practice group at Marcum LLP. One of the most important things to consider is that if you get married, you're now going to file taxes jointly, instead of an individual.
"You don't need to get married for the privilege of paying higher taxes," Cowhey McDonagh said.
In Florida, same-sex couples could get married starting Jan. 6. The tax brackets that will be used in 2016 – when households prepare their filings for 2015 – will differ for individuals and married couples.
Marriage has benefits in terms of Social Security, health coverage and the ability to be recognized as family when visiting a spouse in the hospital. According to Shauna Dell, a manager with Marcum, same-sex newlyweds should keep the following in mind when consider tax and estate planning:
- Existing estate planning documents.
- Existing assets.
- Estate tax implications for states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.