DOMA Overturning Has Significant Tax Implications, Say LGBT Specialists From Marcum LLP
New York City, NY – The leaders of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) practice group of Marcum LLP, a top national accounting and advisory firm, say there are significant tax implications from today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). By voiding the federal definition of marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman, the Court enables legally married same-sex couples to receive the same tax treatment as heterosexual married couples under federal law.
“With the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by the United States Supreme Court today, same-sex couples who were legally married in the 12 states that recognize their marriages, plus the District of Columbia, can now take advantage of the more than 1100 federal benefits that heterosexual married couples have been entitled to. This includes joint federal tax returns, unlimited federal and state tax marital deductions, stretch rollovers for retirement plan distributions, social security benefits, portability of the unified credit and access to immigration laws pertaining to residency for a spouse. There is an opportunity to file amended individual income tax returns for same-sex married couples for any open statute years, normally three years from the filing date,” said Nanette Lee Miller, National Leader of Marcum’s LGBT practice and West Coast Partner-In-Charge of Assurance Services.
“Estate tax returns may also be open to amendment. This is a huge planning opportunity, as most estate plans for same-sex married couples will need to be amended to take federal changes into account. It is also essential that wills, healthcare proxies, living wills and disposition of remains documents be reviewed and amended, as appropriate,” said Janis Cowhey, a Marcum Trusts & Estates tax partner and East Coast Leader of the Firm’s LGBT practice.
“DOMA levels the playing field for same-sex married couples from a federal standpoint, but there are still 50 states with 50 different tax scenarios, so it is important for same-sex married couples to consult their tax advisers about the specifics of their personal situations,” Ms. Miller said.
Marcum LLP is the thought leader in the specialty area of tax compliance and consulting services within the LGBT community. The firm’s professionals have more than 20 years of experience in dealing with the complex tax and financial rules faced by LGBT couples and families, state-by-state and around the country.