Estate Tax Rules in Florida for Same-Sex Couples

Estate Tax Rules in Florida for Same-Sex Couples

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (known as DOMA) in 2013, there were a lot of repercussions on other areas of law as well. One of those was estate taxes. With same-sex couples now getting married at much higher rates than before, the issues suddenly began to shift toward a focus on same-sex estate planning and taxes.

The initial ruling in the DOMA case didn’t clarify how the IRS would treat same-sex married couples for tax purposes. It was especially problematic for married couples who moved to a state that didn’t recognize their marriages. However, the IRS announced two months after the DOMA ruling that all married same-sex couples could be treated as such for federal tax purposes, regardless of the state that they live in.

This means that same-sex couples that live in Florida will be recognized as married on their federal taxes, even though the state of Florida does not recognize same-sex marriage. They must simply file their income taxes as married and then can receive spousal benefits granted through federal estate taxes.

The ruling does not, however, extend to civil unions or domestic partnerships. States that currently offer these unions are Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey and Oregon.

In some states, additional state estate taxes or state inheritance taxes may be imposed on married couples, which presents some additional challenges and complications for people in same-sex marriages. However, neither of these taxes are imposed by the state of Florida.

For more information about estate tax issues for same-sex couples, consult a Florida estate planning lawyer with the law office of Philip A. Baumann, P.A.