Discussion:Same Sex Couples

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Same Sex Couples


Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2008
And here is a new Pandora's box for we struggling to keep up with all the new laws and tax fads:

http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2008/01/domestic-partner-joint-tax-returns.html

PhoenixTax (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2008
After state tax returns are filed Jointly and reap a sizable state refund for 2007, what then becomes of that refund on the 2008 federal return for the individual filers who itemized on '07? How is the 1099-G determined on that one, i wonder.

How about if one itemizes and the other doesn't? It'll be interesting to see the questions/responses/comments related to these issues in the coming weeks.

Lancermc (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2008
Just what we needed, more difficult planning issues. Not!

Has anyone looked at the Treasury website lately? I find it interesting that Treasury is quietly studying European VAT (Value Added Tax) remedies. Flat and VAT solutions are surely in our future. I have been doing tax work since 1980, and totally support a new system, the current one is a travesty.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2008
that is one great way to increase your business and the number of returns you do each year: help same sex couples.

I don't see this as a fad, I see it as a shift in our thinking of how to help more people pay only the legally required tax.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

31 January 2008
"Fad" - bad word, David! I have a number of same sex couples, but most in PA or NY. Oddly for New Jersey, which recognizes the principle, we are more often likely to see if married couples can file separately federally without significant tax cost, since New Jersey allows each person to begin at zero when computing their liability.

KatieJ (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
The FTB has been thrashing over this for months. In California it applies only to Registered Domestic Partners, which may be same sex or not. They MUST file as married, either joint or separate. No single. Raises a lot of issues but I think they have dealt with a lot of them in the forms and instructions.

Irsfixer (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
I have a lot of experience with this. When I was married, the sex was the same night after night.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
And now that you are not married????? Image:smile.jpg

PostingFromWork (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
The only big issue with same sex couples I've seen is working around the software.

PostingFromWork (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
You should have called a nun. They have rulers.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
My apologies for the juvenile behavior that got out of hand. I have taken the liberty of a self-edit, and one further slight edit, to right the course of the ship. Of course, all prior transgressions, such as they were, are of record. No offense was meant, the fire took hold, and began to burn too quickly!

We can get back to a civil discussion, which the topic deserves.

PostingFromWork (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
Awww, that was the hottest thing since unrecaptured ยง1250 gain.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
Crow - now you have the rest of us wondering........  :-}

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

February 2, 2008
Thank you for the edits, Crow.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
To get back to civility, what I so often hear is the lament about the joint return filing and the benefits lost, but I always explain that in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two states which have an Inheritance Tax that is not based on the Federal Estate tax, the real problem comes at death. Two people legally married under law will be able to pass their assets to their partner without paying the State a tax, but the survivor of the same sex relationship is docked 12.5% at death in order to inherit in Pennsylvania. I have not checked to see if this has changed in NJ, but that levy is a real kick in the butt.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
I got hit with the PA tax (but at least I was a lineal descendant). We just could not get Dad to move to Maryland before he died.

I am specializing in RDPs out here in CA, or at least building a practice in the GLBT community. Next weekend I get in my first RDP return; it will be interesting!

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
sorry, a further edit was necessary. I am all for a few light hearted jokes and general silliness once in awhile, but we should all be aware of jokes that are totally inappropriate.

PostingFromWork (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
How are you going about getting that market?

I don't really have a lot of contacts in the community, so I'm at a loss for referrals.

Thank you for the edit, Kevin.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
PFW: My first year working for a tax attorney a gay male came in and gave me a 1040 with Sch A, and a very simple Sch E where I had the information from the prior preparer. I quoted him the price that was fairly standard at my firm. He exclaimed, "Wow" The woman who did his return for the past few years did many gay males; her fee was twice mine, and he noted it would be an additional $50 that year. She did many gay males and had similar fees for most. I wasn't trying to undercut her; I was only using our hourly rate. He was very well organized and even though we were doing them by hand, he was done in less than 45 minutes. Within a week I had many more appointments, and many are still my clients. AIDS has carried off five of them that I can remember. That first year was 1982. My first client has gone on to hold a very important post with the City of Philadelphia, and perhaps once a year I get a call from a stranger telling me that R recommended you.

In addition, from one female who came in by chance, or from my first client, I now have at least twelve Lesbian clients.

It did help that the attorney's sister was a Lesbian that my first client knew and had recommended her brother's firm when she heard how much he paid. A year ot two later she came to work for us; we ended in business together until she contacted MS.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

2 February 2008
At the recommendation of one of my lesbian clients I put an ad in the local GLBT Yellow Pages and am now getting referrals from contacts I've received through the ad. Its really the only ad I've run (I work out of my home), besides one as a charitable sponsor. With the new CA legislation, I've made a real effort to take as many classes and do as much research as I can regarding the new filing requirements, as well as continue to research areas of taxation applicable to the GLBT community (a lot of issues which also work well with unmarried hetero couples as well).

Mscash (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2008
For California practitioners in the forum, remember it is Registered Domestic Partners, not just same sex couples that have to file joint state returns. At a recent CSEA chapter meeting we had a presentation from Franchise Tax Board that included this issue and were told that there were only about 40,000 registered couples statewide. If the GLBT client doesn't have the paper, then they are single.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2008
Actually for CA tax practioners here is the link to FTB pub 737 - Tax Information for Registered Domestic Partners issued in Dec. 2007. This is now reguired reading for any of you who prepare t/r's for CA RDP's.

It might give some insight as to how other community property states may now or will later legislate the required filing of individual State income tax returns. Hope this link provides some useful information to you.

This publication has provided me a with a solid framework with which to assist some of my clients who are considering registering with the CA Sec of State as RDP's.

http://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/07_forms/07_737.pdf

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2008
Assuming the clients are two professionals, each working, what is the benefit to this filing in Massachusetts, New Jersey or Vermont, states with more or less flat tax rates, or in New Jersey, where each taxpayer on a separate return beging the tax computation at zero?

Szptax (talk|edits) said:

3 February 2008
I do taxes for several same sex couples & several unmarried hetrosexual couples & depending upon the circumstances, the tax result is different. PA does not have a domestic partner status, and no longer recognizes common law marriages since sometime in the 90's - maybe 1992?). For example - I split the Itemized deductions for 1 couple & for another they aren't split & one files as single, not itemizing. Although I believe its correct under the curent law, it fails to recogize the true arrangement between the parties. I revisit the question each year to see if the answer remains the same.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

4 February 2008
I've already read most of Pub 737; very useful info. My update seminar gave the figure at 87000 RDPs. Maybe that figure is per person, and the FTBs was # of couples? Anyways, yes, I have been asking everyone if they are registered with the SOS..you can register with employers to get benefits here, but that is not the same as registering with the SOS. I've already picked up new clients that are registered, but did not feel their previous preparer was well versed enough in the issues. At least the first appointment will be a relatively easy return. I still have no idea how I will charge for this!

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

4 February 2008
I had a very similar thing happen to me D&T. I have had a good deal of gay/lesbian clients through the years, beginning in 1987. There were a handful of us lawyers that would go see a client in the hospital in the early years to do estate planning; in fact, there was only one hospital that would take AIDS patients early on, Atlanta Hospital on Juniper Street.

In states with no legal gay "marriage", there is no legal gay divorce procedure. Nothing surprising there. BUT, if you are doing any estate or financial planning in states like mine, be extremely careful if you advise transfers of property, joint ownership and the like, as there is no simple court procedure to equitably divide the property. It's important in planning to take into account a possible split, and no divorce court that is waiting to help sort it all out, and no laws tailored specifically to the issues that normally come along with the termination any domestic arrangement.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

4 February 2008
Crow: 'break ups' are the other area where same sex, or hetero couples, get shafted since when they settle property, they must measure the gets and the gits and see if there is income. Married couples had to do this until 1984, but Congress decided then it was one audit issue that could be taken out of play fairly simply.

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