One Equal World

Gay Couples Can Finally Deal with the Tax Side of Marriage

Posted on: September 13, 2016

A photo of a homosexual male couple consulting with a tax professional.

Image: Shutterstock

Last year, the Supreme Court finally recognized the rights of same-sex couples to get married. However, the IRS has just now managed to catch up with the tax side of things. On September 2nd, the changes finally went into effect which removed language like “husband and wife” from tax documents and regulations.

A variety of regulations have been affected, such as Income Tax, Estate Tax, Employment Tax and others, meaning that people in same-sex marriages can finally, legally, enjoy the same tax benefits as people in heterosexual marriages. It’s been almost a year since the IRS and Department of the Treasury suggested making these changes, so it’s not like the IRS was just twiddling their thumbs. They proposed the changes in October of 2015, and SCOTUS only recognized same-sex marriage in July of 2015, so all things considered, that’s a pretty quick turnaround.

Of course, there are a lot of hoops to jump through when you’re trying to change an entire system. But rest assured, the new regulations will be there for the next tax season so that same-sex couples can file their taxes the same as their heterosexual neighbors. Good news for tax advisers who have access to a whole new field of clients!

Depending on whom you talk to, joint filing is either a boon or a curse; for some people being married comes with tax benefits, while for others it puts them into a higher bracket. The details vary from state to state, so if you’re filing as a married couple for the first time (gay or straight!) you should definitely consult a professional to ensure you get everything right.

On the bright side, straight and queer folks alike can now complain equally about taxes.

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