August 27, 2012
Nanette Lee Miller, West Coast Partner-In-Charge of Assurance Services, Featured in Reuters Article "Newly Married Gay Couples Face Tax Landmines"
By Amy Feldman
While most tax news in this election cycle is focusing on expiring tax cuts, what may be most revolutionary about 2012 is how many newly married same-sex couples are going to face a tax quagmire.
There are more than 130,000 married gay and lesbian couples in the United States, according to U. S. Census Bureau data. And with more states, notably New York, legalizing same-sex marriage, that number is rising.
Taxes for same-sex couples are far more complex than those for heterosexual couples because the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits same-sex marriages from being recognized at the federal level, while state-level tax rules vary greatly.
While the case is being appealed, "some CPA firms are filing protective claims to get their clients back money," says Nanette Lee Miller, a partner at accounting firm Marcum in San Francisco, who heads the firm's new tax practice focused on non-traditional families. A protective claim would allow a taxpayer to get a refund based on a contingency, such as pending litigation, beyond the statute of limitations.