Saturday, April 18, 2009

Open Forum: Taxes and the LGBT Community

April 15th was the last official day to file taxes for all income earning American citizens. Tax Day has always been a source of stress and frustration for households across the nation rushing to file their forms, and get through the legal mumbo jumbo in time.

The day has also been one of protest by groups who are opposed to government policy. The LGBT community has been dealt an unfair hand when it comes to taxes.

Same-sex couples cannot enjoy the benefit of filing joint taxes, because the Defense of Marriage Act does not allow federal recognition of same-sex relationships. Each partner must expend more time and resources to file their taxes individually. LGBT people are forced to pay taxes on their partners health care benefits as if it were additional income, because the government regards gay and lesbian people as single.

There are also many financial inequities that result from the current federal law that prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions, such as denial of social security benefits and inheritance rights.

What do you make of the ill treatment LGBT people suffer through when it comes to taxes? Have you personally had any obstacles in the process? What can be done to help LGBT families until state and federal laws change?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

We live in Oregon, where (from tax years 2000 through 2007) we were allowed to deduct that 'imputed income' for each other's health care premiums. However, once Oregon approved domestic partnership, and "unregistered" domestic partners LOST the right to deduct the imputed income.

As such, if you support same-sex marriage and choose to WAIT for marriage rights (meaning you don't register as domestic partners), you just lost your deduction. It's like we're being held hostage by the DP advocates, i.e. "you're either with us or against us...and don't upset the apple cart by continuing to advocate for same-sex marriage rights".

Damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Queers United said...

It is so insane, until we have full federal and state laws there will be so many complications.

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