The Supreme Court today declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and allowed California to recognize married same sex couples.
These decisions mean that the federal government cannot discriminate against same sex couples who are legally married under state law.
States that recognize same sex marriages are: Minnesota, Iowa, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, Delaware, California, Washington and the District of Columbia. The decisions do not require states to recognize same sex marriage.
These decisions will have positive tax consequences for gay family child care providers in these states who are now married or will become married.
Child care providers in these states can now file their taxes as married filing jointly, rather than as single. In many cases this will mean they will pay lower taxes. For example married same sex couples can now:
* Claim Social Security benefits as a spouse
* Claim car expenses for a car that is owned by the spouse and used in the provider’s business
* Claim house expenses when the home is in the name of the spouse
* Avoid paying taxes on the first $500,000 of profit on the sale of the home (vs. $250,000 as a single person)
* Deduct items used in their business purchased by their spouse
* Claim tax credits for their child
* Pay lower estate taxes
* And more
I recommend that married same sex couples contact a tax professional to evaluate how this ruling will affect them. It’s possible that you may be able to amend your tax return to take advantage of filing a tax return as a married couple.
I strongly welcome these rulings as a sign of progress towards treating people equally under the law.
Here’s an article that discusses the tax consequences for gay couples under this new ruling.
I’ve written a previous article, “Can You Refuse to Provide Care to a Child Who Lives With a Lesbian Couple?”
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
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