Insights + Resources

Tax & Estate Strategies for Married LGBTQ+ Couples

Jun 4, 2021

LGBTQ
In the age of marriage equality, there are new possibilities.

The 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision streamlined tax and estate strategizing for married LGBTQ+ couples. If you are filing a joint tax return for this year or are considering updating your estate strategy, here are some important things to remember.

Keep in mind, this article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice, so make sure to consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals before modifying your tax strategy.

You can file jointly if you were married at any time this year.

Whether you married on January 1st, June 8th, or December 31st, you can still file jointly as a married couple. Under federal tax law, your marital status on the final day of a year determines your filing status. This rule also applies to divorcing couples. Now that marriage equality is nationally recognized, filing your state taxes is much easier as well.1

If you are newly married or have not considered filing jointly, remember that most married couples potentially benefit from filing jointly. For instance, if you have or want to have children, you will need to file jointly to qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. Filing jointly also makes you eligible for Lifetime Learning Credits and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.2

You can gift greater amounts to family and friends.

Prior to the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling, LGBTQ+ spouses were stuck with the individual gift tax exclusion under federal estate tax law. As such, an LGBTQ+ couple could not pair their $15,000-per-person allowances to make a gift of up to $30,000 as a couple to another individual. But today, LGBTQ+ spouses can gift up to $30,000 to as many individuals as they wish per year.3

You can take advantage of portability.

Your $11.7 million individual lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion may be adjusted upward for inflation in future years, but it will also be portable. Under the portability rules, when one spouse dies without fully using the lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion, the unused portion is conveyed to the surviving spouse’s estate. To illustrate, if a spouse dies after using only $2.1 million of the $11.7 million lifetime exclusion, the surviving spouse ends up with a $9.6 million lifetime exclusion.3

You have access to the unlimited marital deduction.

The unlimited marital deduction is the basic deduction that allows one spouse to pass assets at death to a surviving spouse without incurring the federal estate tax.3

Marriage equality has made things so much simpler.

The hassle and extra paperwork that some LGBTQ+ couples previously faced at tax time is now, happily, a thing of the past. Remember to check the tax laws in your state with the help of a tax or financial professional.

For more insights and resources, be sure to sign up for our Weekly Market Commentary. Follow our YouTube channel where we regularly post our Epic Market Minute videos. Follow us on LinkedIn, or like us on Facebook. And as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a dedicated service professional at Epic Capital.

Tags: , , , , ,

More Insights

Jun 18, 2021

As a parent or grandparent, you know firsthand the challenges of funding a child’s education. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act was passed at the end of 2020 and has changed some of the qualifications for students to receive financial aid.

Jun 16, 2021

The real rate of return is an important personal finance concept to understand. And it goes hand-in-hand with the rate of inflation. It’s the rate of return on your investments after inflation. The real rate of return indicates whether you are gaining or losing purchasing power with your money.

Jun 14, 2021

Recently, you may have seen headlines regarding the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, also referred to as the second version of the SECURE Act, or SECURE Act 2.0.

Jun 11, 2021

If there is a “silver lining” to all the inflation talk, it may be that Social Security benefits are expected to see a larger-than-normal increase in 2022. Preliminary COLA Social Security estimates call for a 4.7% cost-of-living increase (COLA) in Social Security benefits next year, which would be the highest since 2009. Benefits rose 1.3% … Continue reading “A COLA With Your Social Security?”

Jun 9, 2021

With COVID, there were some who believed that progress on this health issue was a necessary precondition to economic recovery. In recent weeks, we have seen some promising trends emerge on the health front. The CDC is reporting the provision of 295 million vaccinations; 51% of Americans have had at least one injection.1

Insights + Resources >