Tax Day Reminds Us We’re Second-Class Citizens
April 11, 2012 by Paul Guequierre
With tax day less than a week away, millions of LGBT Americans are scrambling to file their returns on time. Deductions, taxable income, home ownership, and student loan interest deductions are on their minds. There’s one other glaring truth in the tax process: the reality of second-class citizenship.
With the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still on the books and marriage equality a reality in only six states and the District of Columbia, LGBT Americans face an unfair tax burden and it’s costing us millions of dollars each year. To raise awareness of the inequities same-sex couples face on tax day, HRC released an issue brief on Federal Taxation, illustrating how same-sex couples are denied equal treatment under the tax law, are forced to spend more time and money filing their taxes, and face inconsistent interpretation and enforcement of IRS guidance and practice related to adoption.
To personalize our tax struggles, every day leading up to tax day we will also release a fact of the day on unfair taxation. We encourage you to use Facebook and Twitter to spread the message
Today’s fact of the day: An average retired same-sex couple will be denied more than $8,000 a year in Social Security survivor benefits upon the death of the higher-earning spouse after retirement. Yes you read that right, $8,000 dollars a year.
Here’s another Social Security fact for you: Social Security provides a benefit to a surviving spouse to care for the couple’s children, but only if the parents’ marriage is recognized by the federal government. This means an average surviving gay or lesbian spouse with a ten-year-old child, for example, loses out on over $100,000 in surviving parent benefits.
Help shine light on the need for marriage equality and repeal of the Discriminatory DOMA law by tweeting the Fact of the Day now. Don’t miss our Lunchtime Twitter Power Hour between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. EST, when we will call on supporters to tweet their personal stories of tax inequality at House Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (@EricCantor)
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