LGBT Practice Co-Leaders Nanette Lee Miller and Janis Cowhey, Quoted in 10,000 Couples Article, "Experts Respond to Federal Recognition of Michigan Same-Sex Marriages."
Today’s ruling by the federal government granting full federal recognition to the same-sex marriages performed last week in the State of Michigan carries important tax and estate-planning consequences for those new families, according to LGBT tax experts at Marcum LLP. Marcum was the first national accounting and advisory firm to establish a full-service practice dedicated to the unique needs of same-sex and non-traditional families.
“Unless and until the Appellate Court lifts the stay on the recent decision overturning Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, same-sex married residents will need to file state and federal tax returns using entirely different numbers,” said Nanette Lee Miller, Co-Leader of Marcum’s LGBT & Non-Traditional Family Practice. “As in other states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, this can be a complex and expensive undertaking, as different rules and different calculations apply at the state and federal levels. It is especially important to stay updated in states that are in transition, like Michigan, because there can be unintended tax consequences if your marriage is recognized and you do not file using the correct status.”
“Federal recognition for same-sex married Michigan taxpayers affords them the opportunity to take advantage of tax and estate planning opportunities that have always been available to traditional married couples,” said Janis Cowhey, LGBT Practice Co-Leader and a trusts & estates attorney. “That is a tremendous benefit of recognition for these families. But at the state level, the situation is more complicated. For example, even if you live in a state where your marriage is recognized, you may have income from a different state that does not recognize your marriage. And some states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage are actually allowing couples married in other states to file joint returns. You need to know the rules and how they apply to your specific situation. The newly married Michigan couples should consult their financial advisors as soon as possible.”