Tax Day’s Unequal Impact on LGBT Americans
April 15, 2013 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Today is the deadline for filing your tax return, but for LGBT Americans April 15 stands as a stark reminder of second-class citizenship under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
Under DOMA, lawfully married same-sex couples are not treated as spouses by the federal government, including the Internal Revenue Service. As a result LGBT families lose out of critical tax benefits specifically intended to help working families, costing them hundreds, even thousands more a year in taxes.
Get the facts about the unfair tax burden LGBT families face.
Did You Know?
- LGBT families pay more than $1,100 more on average in taxes a year for healthcare coverage.
- On average an LGBT employee will pay $1,069 a year in federal taxes for employer provided spousal health care.
- Same-sex spouses and partners of federal employees cannot be covered by the federal government’s health care plan – requiring them to find health insurance from another source. The average premium cost for a single person on the individual market is more than $2,500 a year. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?ind=976&cat=5&rgn=1">(Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
- COBRA health benefits are not available to LGBT Americans if a spouse is laid off, forcing them to pay for coverage elsewhere.
- Families who cannot claim their child as a “qualifying child” for income tax purposes pay up to $1,000 extra in federal income taxes each year. These families may also not have access to the earner income tax cred, costing on average $2,100 a year.
- Parents wrongfully denied the adoption tax credit can pay up to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Adoption-Benefits-FAQs">$12,650http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Adoption-Benefits-FAQs"> more in taxes than other new adoptive parents who are able to take advantage of the credit.
- Same-sex partners and spouses of the Armed Forces are denied military benefits that straight couples receive.
Currently we’re awaiting the Supreme Court’s opinion in the case of Windsor v. United States, the case challenging the constitutionality of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
Stay tuned to HRC Blog and www.hrc.org/SupremeCourt for the latest news on DOMA and the Supreme Court.
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