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Midnight Maine Merriment

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2012

December 29th is the day scheduled for the first same-sex marriage licenses to be issued in Maine. So starting at 12.01 the Portland city Clark’s office will open to allow marriages to begin.

This is a symbolic gesture of support from the city in celebration of a historic moment. It should be a joyous time.

But it also has a very pragmatic aspect. There are but a few days left in this year and it may well be that by marrying in 2012 they can take advantage of tax laws that benefit married couples. This is certain for state returns and I think likely to be the case for federal takes after SCOTUS rules on the Windsor DOMA3 case.

It’s not very romantic, but tax consequences are something that many straight couples must consider when picking a wedding date. So too must Maine’s gay couples (with much delight and a heart full of love) consider the mundane.

As for the rest of us, we will celebrate with Mainers of all stripes who now live in a freer, more equal, state.

Comments

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Bose in St. Peter MN
December 28th, 2012 | LINK

It’s seldom noted, but worth remembering if you ask me, that many same-sex couples are marrying despite tax consequences. Families with dual, comparable incomes are most likely to take an net tax hit after marrying, while those with one higher earner matched up with lower are likely to benefit.

Timothy Kincaid
December 29th, 2012 | LINK

Bose,

There are very few circumstances in which two people would increase their tax burden by marrying.

Robert
December 30th, 2012 | LINK

Ummm, Timothy, tax rates don’t change for the Gay Married. You might get a slightly lower rate on State income taxes, but then you have an increase in the taxes on “benefits” like health care coverage. Any discussion of FEDERAL taxes is pure hogwash until a decision is made on DOMA 3, and that won’t be known any time soon, and assuredly not this next Tax Season…

I am married and I did have my taxes go up due to having to pay for the “benefit” of having some coverage for my medical on my husbands insurance.

You are 100 percent WRONG on the tax issue of Gay married people, and I know this from 4 years of having been married. Taxes do go up for any person getting any benefit from their spouse. And it hardly matters that there are very few circumstances in which the burden would be increased, when the main one (insurance) affects the majority of same sex couples.

Please, if you think you actually have factual information, rather than just your assertions, please provide them. The majority of LGBT Organizations have in fact stated that taxes burdens are higher on LGBT couples as compared to Heterosexual couples, even after marriage rights are granted…

In Maryland there is NO benefit at all in regards to taxes, they won’t allow LGBT couples to file as married unless the legislature passes even more laws.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/19/franchot-says-gay-married-couples-will-get-file-jo/

And, as my husband makes considerably more than me, we pay higher Federal taxes because he files single for Federal and gets no tax credits for my medical costs, as other married couples would. And my medical costs were considerable so we don’t get any of that back. MANY gay people are in marriages with people with long term medical concerns yet they get no tax relief on it, another example of those “few circumstances” where the burden increases.

Of course, I’m expecting your response to be “Welltheir tax burden didn’t go up in comparrison to when they were single”, and to not address the issue that the rates are higher for LGBT married couples IN COMPARRISON to straight married couples. In direct comparrison to our hetero counterparts, our tax burden does in fact increase for MANY.

Timothy Kincaid
January 1st, 2013 | LINK

Robert,

Perhaps you failed to read this part:

This is certain for state returns and I think likely to be the case for federal takes after SCOTUS rules on the Windsor DOMA3 case.

I am well aware – and have noted numerous times – that gay couples pay what I call the Gay Tax, when spousal benefits are taxed for gay but not straight spouses.

And I don’t know what state you live in, but if its by chance my state of California, due to common property laws, usually (some exceptions) gay spouses each report half of the couple’s total income. In some cases that can result in net lower taxes than not being married.

But the point is, when the Windsor case is heard I think we have a very high likelihood of winning. And as her case is specifically about taxes and the unfair disparate treatment between gay and straight couples, then those points you iterated will be gone.

And as the decision will be made prior to the extended filing deadlines, it may very well be to the benefit of gay couples to have married in 2012.

Yes, for tax reasons.

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