December 07, 2012
Nanette Lee Miller, West Coast Partner-In-Charge of Assurance Services, Featured in USA Today Article "For Gay and Lesbian Couples, Real Money at Stake"
By Richard Wolf
The Defense of Marriage Act isn't so much about marriage as it is about money.
Gay and lesbian married couples who have challenged the law and tens of thousands like them are denied the same federal benefits that go to opposite-sex couples, whether they are married, divorced or widowed. That's because the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
At last count there were 1,138 provisions in federal laws that listed marital status as a factor in determining benefits, rights and privileges. The list, prepared by the Government Accountability Office, was last updated in 2003.
Gays and lesbians can't file joint federal tax returns, as heterosexual married couples can, which often saves them thousands of dollars. If gays or lesbians divorce, any alimony is considered a gift subject to taxation, while for opposite-sex couples it's tax-free. And when a spouse dies, the widow or widower is liable for inheritance taxes; heterosexual couples enjoy a marital deduction.
"That's where you could have savings in the hundreds of thousands, or millions," says Nanette Miller, who leads the non-traditional family practice at Marcum LLP, one of the nation's largest independent accounting firms.Click here to read full article on www.USAToday.com>>