DOMA-Same Sex Marriage Feed

Same-sex couples generally must do twice the work at tax-filing time than traditional husband and wife taxpayers. That's because the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defines "marriage" as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." So gay and lesbian married couples must file separate federal returns even though their states allow for a single joint filing. There's also usually a fiscal cost. Not only do the same-sex couples have to pay tax professionals more for the extra work they do. Some of the couples also face higher taxes by not being... Read more →

Vice President Joe Biden was at it again this weekend being voluble Joe Biden. Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, the veep said he is "absolutely comfortable" with same-sex couples getting the same rights at heterosexual married couples. Lucky for Biden, a second top Obama Administration official today deflected some heat from the veep by echoing that position. On the "Morning Joe" program on MSNBC, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that he supports gay marriage rights. Obviously, the political ramifications are getting all the buzz. But Biden's and Duncan's remarks also offer a chance to remind folks of... Read more →

How serendipitous that New York's decision to sanction same-sax marriages came in June, the most popular month for weddings. OK, it takes 30 days for the law to go into effect, pushing the first exchanging of vows to July 24, but every couple needs time to plan their big day. And it's still is a nice gesture. Photo by Kathryn8/iStock Not to take any glow off the new-found relationship option, but like their heterosexual counterparts, New York's same-sex couples also will now be able to officially divorce. "One of the so-called benefits to marriage is actually divorce," Ruthann Robson, professor... Read more →

The Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law under which the federal government -- including the IRS in processing tax returns -- only recognizes as legal marriages those between a man and a woman, has produced a couple of splits of its own. King & Spalding, the law firm hired by Republicans to defend the federal government's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages, withdrew from the case Monday. That decision then prompted the lead counsel for the case, Paul D. Clement, to resign from the firm. Clement, who also served as solicitor general under President George W. Bush, said he will... Read more →

Iowa same-sex marriage tax scoop

Finally catching up this afternoon and wanted to pass along the definitive word on same-sex marriages and Iowa taxes. Joe Kristan writes the Tax Update Blog for Roth & Company, PC, based in Des Moines. Joe says that the Iowa Supreme Court ruling (blogged about here) will make little tax difference to most of the state's same-sex couples. "The Iowa tax system allows married couples to file 'separately on a combined return,' giving them each a run up the brackets," writes Joe. Get the rest of the filing details in Joe's post, Same-sex marriage in Iowa: The tax stakes. Read more →

I do + I do + I do

"Big Love" is getting a lot of attention. Naturally, TV critics are always looking for the next HBO breakout show to fill the void that will exist when the "Sopranos" are all whacked out. But the prurience potential of a show about a fictional polygamous family in present-day Utah is also getting a lot of mainstream coverage and prompting related "news" stories. The latest example: On this Sunday's Weekend Today Show, Lester Holt interviewed a real-life husband and wife and wife. I'm sitting there in bed waiting to see what Holt, an affable TV personality, might offer on this subject... Read more →