Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Tax Day :) errrr :(

I think we can all agree that tax day isn't the most fun holiday that pops up in our Google calendars. (I didn't have to pay this year, thank goodness....guess I spent too much on business investments to really have a legit profit.) ANYWHO. Taxes aren't fun, they're kind of confusing sometimes, and it doesn't get any easier when you're gay. Hey, sometimes you can get quite a bonus and take each of your returns and head somewhere warm, but it doesn't happen that easily every time. For example, I present THIS article (sent by Kaitlin Davis - my friends send me cool stuff! Thanks!) Once again, I'll pull some highlights out of this brilliantly written piece, and you can read the rest HERE.

My Big Fat Gay Tax Return(s)

My tax law professor told me not to, but I do the family taxes. In theory, it shouldn't be too bad: one job, two kids, a dwindling stock portfolio. Nothing some decent tax software and a bottle of wine can't handle. It's nothing more than record keeping and data entry, no offense to the CPAs out there. Except for one thing: I'm a woman, married (in some states) to another woman and no one, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), knows what that means.

...Last year I was a Stay at Home Mom. This is one scenario where that whole "gay couples pay more in taxes" thing really stings. See, my wife files as single, Head of Household, and claims me as one of her "dependents." And I do depend on her, for so many things, like love and support and making inappropriate jokes in front of my parents. I depend on her the way, say, a spouse would. But in the eyes of the federal government, I'm not a spouse. And that changes everything.

So a stay at home mom who doesn't bring in a paycheck, offsets the loss of the credit simply by existing as a spouse, raising the cutoff amount. I can't do that, because as far as the government is concerned, I'm an unemployed single person, who, on paper, appears to do nothing more than loaf around and mooch off the single, mother of twins with whom I live. And my wife, who supports a family of four, doesn't get the child tax credit because she's "single" and makes more than $60,000. If we could file as married, we would get the full credit and mama'd get a new pair of Louboutins.

For now, how about a tiny change on the tax form — just get rid of married and put in jointly. Then two people who are financially dependent on each other — who comingle funds and live together — can get all the same breaks as those married folk do. Got it IRS?

By Maia Spotts

Yet one more reason...marriage equality. It has nothing to do with religion, it's a financial issue in this case. How many "relationships" are there out there in which a woman has married a man for his money, or vice versa, without love or children as a part of the equation? So here you have two committed people raising two boys on a single-income household...time to get some bucks from the gov.

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