2 Days ’til Tax Day: Marriage discrimination hurts the most at the worst of times.
The protections, rights, and responsibilities that come with marriage make couples and families more safe and secure, especially in hard times such as divorce and death.Tax laws for married couples protect them from paying hefty taxes when transferring property or receiving inheritance.
Ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage will protect all couples, and their families, from adverse consequences in good times, in tough times and at tax time.
Did you know…
- Discrimination in marriage leads to discrimination in divorce. If a same-sex couple splits up and has to divide their assets in court, the IRS considers that transfer of assets subject to hefty �gift� or �income� taxes. Alimony and child support, to an unrecognized parent, are also heavily taxed as �gifts� or �income.�
- Same-sex couples are also denied tax benefits after death. Sadly, if one partner dies the surviving partner may face losing their home due to the high rate of taxation for property transfer to a non-spouse.
Get Active! Get Engaged!
Now what should you do with this information? How can you help? When you are talking about filing taxes this week, talk about these inequalities. And keep talking… Talk to your neighbors. Tell your own story. Educate yourself. Contact your elected representatives. Get to know your local and statewide political advocacy organizations. Contact the leaders of groups of which you are a member. Write a newspaper, magazine, TV station, radio station or other media outlet. Create a visibility event. Host or sponsor a house party. Host or sponsor a family picnic. Ask someone you know — or everyone you know — to get engaged in this movement. Talk to your religious leaders about how to engage your faith community.
Who can you call to get answers to your specific tax-related questions?
Individuals, couples and families seeking tax advice should contact a personal tax preparer, accountant, or attorney.
If you are a reporter or an attorney with questions about tax time and marriage equality, contact Lambda Legal.
For a full list of the protections denied same sex couples and their kids, see “Appendix B” of Evan Wolfson’s book, Why Marriage Matters: America, Equality & Gay People’s Right to Marry.
For more information on Why Marriage Matters at Tax Time, or any other time, log on to our website at www.freedomtomarry.org.