This Tax Season, gay and transgender- headed families are reminded that they are not equal in the eyes of the law. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), even in states that have achieved marriage equality, the federal tax code prevents legally married same-sex couples from filing together and qualifying for all of the same benefits of their straight married neighbors.
Last October, CAP coauthored “All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families,” a comprehensive report on the state of LGBT families with the Family Equality Council and the Movement Advancement Project. The follow up piece, “Unequal Taxation and Undue Burdens for LGBT Families,” focuses specifically on the income tax inequality faced by LGBT families. Below are the top five ways that marriage inequality hurts gay couples during tax season, according to those reports:
1. LGBT families are denied joint filing status and accompanying tax relief: Since married LGBT families are not legally recognized by federal law, they cannot receive the significant tax advantages of the “Married Filing Jointly” tax status, which means they have less money to meet the financial needs of their family. LGBT families can only file as “Single” or at best, “Head of Household,” even when they are married or in other legally recognized unions and partnerships.
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