Nanette Lee Miller, Assurance Services Partners & Janis Cowhey, Tax Services Partner, Co-Leaders of the LGBT Practice Group, Quoted in Law360 Article, "Tax Tips For Same-Sex Couples Awaiting High Court Decision."
By Eric Kroh
“Nearly two years after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and as the high court deliberates same-sex marriage questions in Obergefell v. Hodges, experts say there is still confusion among same-sex couples about the tax consequences of marriage.
…Janis Cowhey, a co-leader of Marcum LLP’s LGBT and nontraditional family practices group, said many same-sex couples rush to get hitched in states where marriage becomes newly allowed after court actions without fully understanding the financial and tax consequences. Many same-sex couples may have been together for several years or even several decades without having their finances intertwined before deciding to get married, Cowhey said. Their financial situations may be more complicated because they have had more time to build wealth, she said. As with any couple, “making an educated decision is really the big thing,” Cowhey said.
…While the IRS declared in the wake of Windsor that it would recognize legally performed same-sex marriages for federal tax purposes, there are still 13 states where same-sex marriages are banned, which greatly complicates the tax returns of couples living in those states, according to Nanette Lee Miller, the other co-leader of Marcum’s LGBT and nontraditional family practices group. Same-sex married couples in states that do not recognize their marriages have to file their federal tax returns as married and their state tax returns as single, Miller said. Because state tax returns tend to reference federal returns, that means the couples or their advisers have to prepare two sets of federal returns: one they file with the IRS and another “dummy” return they use to fill out their state returns, she said.”
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