Nobody really LIKES to pay taxes, but for coupled gays and lesbians, this day is just another reminder of all the ways that we are not equal citizens.
Because of Oregon's new domestic partnership law, for the first time this year, Tiger and I were able to file jointly on the state level. Our accountant says this saved us about $300. But, because of that lovely federal law, known as The Defense of Marriage Law, we had to file separate federal taxes.
It didn't occur to me to ask our accountant how different our taxes would be if Tiger and I could file as a married couple. Now I wish I had.
Fellow Portland blogger Lelo in NoPo, however did have her tax person figure out the difference. For them the result was a whopping $1800 more that they have to pay in taxes because their relationship is not recognized.
Today the group Join the Impact is planning tax day protests around the country. Here are just a few of the ways gays and lesbian suffer on Tax Day.
- We can't file jointly for federal taxes
- We pay the same social security as everyone else, but cannot access our spouses benefits like straight married people can
- We can still be fired from our jobs in most states for being gay, lesbian, bi or trans.
- We cannot sponsor our same-sex partners for immigration purposes
- We have to pay taxes on any inheritance we receive from our partners
- If our companies offer health insurance for same-sex partners (which not all do), we have to pay tax on that benefit as if it were income. Straight couples don't have to do this.
© Linda Long