Same-sex couples can now file joint federal tax returns if the couple lives in a state that recognizes their marriage. It should be noted, however, that joint returns aren’t always beneficial. If both partners in a same-sex marriage have high taxable incomes, filing a joint return could result in more taxes being paid.
For example, the modified adjusted gross income threshold amounts for calculating the net investment income tax, which applies for tax years after 2012, is $200,000 for taxpayers filing as single, $250,000 for couples filing joint returns, and $125,000 in the case of a married taxpayer filing a separate return.
If these considerations apply to your particular situation, we need to to assess the impact of filing a joint return for 2013. We should also review whether it would be beneficial for you to file amended returns for prior tax years for which you were married.
There are also other considerations which will need to be addressed in future guidance and court decisions so stay tuned for more developments as they happen.
Written by: Doug Rodrigues