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Beth Kaufman Comments on DOMA Ruling and Extension of Benefits to Gay Married Couples

June 27, 2013, Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report

Bloomberg BNA's Daily Tax Report interviewed Beth Shapiro Kaufman on the impact DOMA's demise will have on legally married same-sex couples and their tax filings.  To read the complete article, please visit BNA's website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

Beth Shapiro Kaufman, an estate planning attorney with Caplin and Drysdale in Washington, told BNA June 26 that the immediate effect of the court's ruling for tax lawyers is "that there is a whole host of tax provisions that apply to married people that will now apply to same-sex married couples."

For taxpayers, Kaufman said the "biggest victory is in the estate and gift tax area."

That sentiment was echoed by David Kautter, managing director of the Kogod Tax Center at American University, who told BNA June 26 that for the gift tax, same-sex married couples now "have free transferability between spouses, which didn't exist before this opinion."

Kaufman also quipped that same-sex couples will now be allowed "to enjoy the pleasures of the marriage penalty along with heterosexual couples."

Retroactivity Could Encourage Amended Returns

In light of the Supreme Court's ruling, Kaufman said she will now advise her same-sex married clients to review their tax filings for the last three years, to see if they can take advantage of any tax benefits.

Kaufman said because the court found DOMA unconstitutional, the ruling should be applied retroactively, meaning taxpayers within the three-year statute of limitations should be able to claim refunds.

Kaufman, meanwhile, said implementation of the ruling should be "relatively straightforward. We have a lot of law and regulations that deal with married couples. It really shouldn't be any different applying them to same-sex couples."

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