December 10, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Hearing on DOMA Could Open the Door to Equal Federal Tax Treatment, Marcum Says

U.S. Supreme Court Hearing on DOMA Could Open the Door to Equal Federal Tax Treatment, Marcum Says
Modern Family & LGBTQ Services

New York City, NY – Tax experts in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) practice group at Marcum LLP, a top national  accounting and advisory firm, said today that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a bellwether case challenging a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) could open the door to equal tax treatment for same-sex married couples under federal law. If the court overturns the act’s definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, same-sex married couples will be entitled to the same income and estate tax deductions and many other federal benefits available to traditional families, which are currently denied to them.

“In addition to achieving future tax parity, a favorable ruling would entitle nontraditional couples who are legally married for state purposes to file amended federal tax returns retroactively. Therefore, we are strongly urging our LGBT clients to immediately file protective claims for refunds of any overpayments, pending the court’s ruling. Since there is a three-year statute of limitations on tax refund claims, it is imperative that claims be filed as soon as possible to protect any potential refunds for returns dating back as far as 2009,” Nanette Lee Miller, national leader of Marcum’s LGBT practice group and Partner-in-Charge of Assurance Services for the firm’s California offices.

“An affirmative ruling by the court will also allow same-sex married couples to benefit from tax-advantaged estate planning,” said Janis Cowhey, a partner in the firm’s New York City office and a member of its Trusts and Estates Practice group, who frequently lectures on LGBT estate and income tax issues. Ms. McDonagh is the author of Top 10 Estate Planning Tips for LGBT & Non-Traditional Families.

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.