With your tax filing deadline just two months away today, it’s that time of year again: to see just how unequal treatment is going to allow the IRS screw you homos out of thousands of dollars in additional, unfair fees. Which means it’s also time to see what tips are available for gaming the system in your favor without risking an audit (or jail time).
Our plan this year was to merely follow Melissa Etheridge’s advice; last year she told us she wasn’t going to file taxes until California recognized gay marriage. Though she’s not in jail, so we assume she broke her promise. Which means having to do things like spend thousands of dollars on estate planning that married heterosexuals don’t have to (but perhaps still should) do.
But our favorite tip so far comes from CBS Moneywatch, which reminds us that gay couples with kids can choose which parent claims the kids as dependents. Of course, this all depends on whether your home state allowed you to legally adopt the child if you aren’t the biological parent. They advise: “Gay couples with children can boost their tax savings by filing returns cleverly. If both partners are legal parents (biological or adoptive), either may claim the child as a dependent. The one with the higher income should, since the $3,650 exemption will be worth more. A dependent child may also let one of the parents claim head-of-household status, which is generally more advantageous than filing as a single person. For a same-sex couple with two children, each partner may be able to claim head-of-household status by claiming one of the kids as a dependent.”
And you thought exploiting children for financial gain was a right only available to heterosexuals.