Equality adds confusion to tax law
The recent decisions by the Supreme Court on both Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry will have a lasting effect on LGBT families. Despite the milestone ruling, however, problems still remain for the LGBT community. While the decisions moved LGBT individuals one step closer to full equality, they also increased confusion for fundamental issues, most notably, tax law. The National LGBT Bar Association is aware of these challenges and will continue to advocate for LGBT families to ensure that they can take full advantage of their new rights and opportunities.
Even after the Supreme Court’s ruling, tax law is one of the most complex and nuanced issues impacting the LGBT community. The LGBT Bar’s Tax Equity Project (TEP), www.lgbtbar.org, continues to be one of the most valuable resources to ensure that families are equipped to understand and adapt to the new laws that are taking effect.
The Project, a consortium of pro bono attorneys, accountants and tax experts actively involved in tax law, offers a series of webpages to assist tax professionals and individual taxpayers in preparing taxes and fully understanding tax laws.
“The Tax Equity Project is one of the most valuable resources for LGBT taxpayers and preparers,” said D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the LGBT Bar. “The webpages unpack the many complicated regulations that our community must contend with on a daily basis.”
The Project was created with a focus on the ramifications of the then-upcoming decisions and provides the most up-to-date and valuable information for LGBT families. Following the Supreme Court decisions, the website will be updated frequently to account for the rapid changes currently taking place.
“The Tax Equity Project is the only place I know of with accurate, comprehensive and practical information for tax preparers, tax payers, advisors, academics and policy makers,” said Deb Kinney, a partner at DLKLawGroup. “Filing taxes effects all LGBT people and the various options and requirements are diverse. Whether it is an income, gift or estate tax issue, the Tax Equity Project is an invaluable resource.”
The Project, created in March by leading tax law professionals, develops the legal research regarding broader tax issues and includes articles, regulations, academic papers and frequently asked questions. Pages devoted to living in community property states, Registered Domestic Partnership status and recognition versus non-recognition states address the specific questions that LGBT individuals face.
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. This year marks the 25 anniversary of the Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair, the only one of its kind for LGBT and allied legal professionals.