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April 09, 2010

Hold that tax advice

Today's issue of DC Agenda has a column by D.C. tax accountant Michael L. Fine titled, "Do your homework before saying ‘I do’." That much is true, but then he says this:

Once you are either registered as domestic partners or legally married you must start preparing your D.C. taxes together with your partner or spouse. Your options no longer include filing as “single” for two very good reasons. Your spouse will be upset that you are telling people you are “single” and the D.C. government is going to be equally upset because you will be in violation of the District tax laws.

This is not correct. Bob Summersgill, who was in the drafting meetings on the relevant legislation, will be posting something later to clear up the matter. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Bob, he will be receiving a Community Advocacy award this evening from the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce at their 20th Annual Awards Gala at the Mandarin Oriental. Another friend, Cathy Renna of Renna Communications, will receive a Business Leadership award. Details here. I'll be there to cheer them on.

Update: The Income Tax Joint Filing Clarification Act of 2009, which took effect on March 3, states: "Married same-sex individuals may file either a joint return or separate returns on a combined form prescribed by the Mayor as if the federal government recognized the right of married same-sex individuals to file jointly." (Note: could this be what Mr. Fine meant, without mentioning that there was a choice?) I expect that Bob, who testified on the bill last October, can provide more insight into the legislative intent.

Update 2: Greetings Loose Lips readers. Bob Summersgill elaborates on this issue here.


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