The National LGBT Bar Association, BNY Mellon and White & Case LLP, announced today the launch of the Association's Online LGBT Tax Resource for the 2014 tax year, at LGBTBar.org/tax, to help same-sex couples and their tax advisors navigate state tax laws. The resource is a unique tool for both tax preparers and payers, providing a comprehensive, state-by-state list of reporting regulations for LGBT couples. A first of its kind when developed last year, the Resource has now been fully updated to reflect the many changes in the marriage equality landscape over the past year as they impact the income tax reporting obligations of same-sex couples at the state level.
Despite recent strides in marriage equality recognition, tax law remains one of the most complex and nuanced issues impacting the LGBT community, especially in states where couples are not allowed to file married tax returns. Following the Supreme Court's decision invalidating Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), couples are now eligible to file married federal returns. However, in the 13 states that have same-sex marriage bans, to the extent such states impose an income tax on their residents, those same couples cannot file joint state returns. Further, 21 states have begun recognizing same-sex marriages since the last tax season and state tax regulatory guidance may not yet be fully clarified. In response, the Online LGBT Tax Resource is there to ensure families are equipped with the most up-to-date tax information for their home state.
"Tax season is always a trying time for many families, but for LGBT families especially. The quickly changing legal landscape makes things even more complicated," said D'Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of The LGBT Bar. "The Online LGBT Tax Resource is designed to give tax payers and tax preparers the best possible state-by-state information available for LGBT families. Our partners at BNY Mellon and White & Case have worked tirelessly to ensure this important information is available in one spot and is prepared by some of the nation’s most knowledgeable tax experts. We’re proud to partner with them on this important endeavor."
Among the information provided at the site, are key areas such as:
(1) A recap of states' rules concerning same-sex marriage and the impact on state income tax in clear and concise language
(2) Individual state guidance for married same-sex taxpayers
(3) Information on litigation, and legislation, that could impact LGBT tax law; and
(4) Up-to-date information from states' departments of revenue, and state constitutions.
"As the filing deadline approaches, many same-sex couples have yet to file their state tax returns because they are unsure on how to correctly do so," said John Lillis, a tax partner with White & Case, who worked on the project pro bono. "The database will provide same-sex couples with greater clarity on how to file returns in states that recognize or don’t recognize marriage equality."
"Because laws vary from state-to-state, we marshalled the knowledge and skills of our pro bono teams to deliver an outstanding resource for the LGBT community," said Arunas Gudaitis, Managing Director and Senior Managing Counsel, BNY Mellon. "As a result, the online guide offers same-sex couples and their tax advisors and preparers a comprehensive view of tax laws and regulations across the country."
The Resource presents the many state-level regulations in easily understandable language. The site, which will be updated periodically with any new developments impacting tax laws for LGBT couples, provides the only inclusive, accurate listing of filing regulations in all fifty states.
The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The association promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of Dec. 31, 2014, BNY Mellon had $28.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.7 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com, or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.
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