Opportunities Presented by the Death of DOMA

New York Law Journal July 22, 2013:
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 26, declaring part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional, has far-reaching effects for a great many people. The court noted that there are more than "1,000 federal statutes and a whole realm of regulations" impacted by the decision. Not only does the decision provide income and estate tax refund and planning opportunities for same-sex married couples, but it also raises important questions for employers regarding the benefits that they offer to employees and their spouses. All in all, the death of DOMA means that attorneys can provide meaningful help to clients dealing with difficult issues.

Link to entire article is here:
New York Journal Death of DOMA


DOMA and Social Security

On June 26, in a 5 to 4 decision, the United States Supreme Court found that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as applied to persons of the same sex who are legally married under the laws of their state (Windsor, S.Ct., June 26, 2013, 2013-2). The majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, held that DOMA was unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

Here is the link to the article:

DOMA is dead! Now What?

Now that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, there are lots of tax (and other) questions that must be resolved.

Here are a few comments about the tax impact of the DOMA decision.

We also provide a link to a discussion by
Lambda Legal which examines the issues in more detail.

At this point we are waiting to see what the IRS says about how the court's  decision will be implemented as there are a number of issues that will need to be resolved.

A Taxpayer’s Guide to the Fall of DOMA

The Supreme Court appears ready to rule on the constitutionality of DOMA with a ruling expected as early as June 2013. A favorable ruling will result in a number of tax and estate planning changes for Registered Domestic Partners and Same Sex Married couples.

Discussed below are some of the issues that you as a same sex couple will need to consider. Every situation is different and what is a positive change for one couple could be negative for another.

Most of the changes involve future actions or results.

But there is one area where you may need to go ahead and take action before a decision on DOMA is reached:

If you can claim a refund for 2009 income or estate taxes paid, you would need to file the appropriate forms with the IRS by April 15, 2013, to preserve your right to claim that refund (Protective Claim for Refund, see below for more info). Otherwise the statute of limitations would expire and the 2009 refunds would be lost.

The important point here is that you can’t wait for DOMA to be decided (for 2009).

You have to go ahead and file the protective claim before the deadline to amend 2009.

Link to DOMA article