Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One Small Step for Federal Taxation, One Giant Leap for Same-Sex Equality

Earlier in the week the Tax Prof published a new blog entry explaining the recent revision to Section 2702 of the IRS code to apply to same sex couples. The article quotes the conclusion from a recent publication by Matthew Fry titled “One Small Step for Federal Taxation, One Giant Leap for Same-Sex Equality: Revising Section 2702 of the Internal Revenue Code to Apply Equally to All Marriages.” Check out the quote below.

This Comment suggests the revision of one specific provision of the federal wealth transfer taxation scheme as one small step in the direction of equality for all married couples, regardless of sexual orientation. It is true that this suggested change would be an economic setback for same-sex couples that currently use GRITs as a means of transferring wealth within their economic unit while avoiding tax liability. In the grand scheme of equality, however, many same-sex taxpayers might be grateful for the hint of federal recognition that has, for so long, been denied to their marriages and civil unions. Eventually every provision of the Internal Revenue Code should be revised to guarantee equal treatment of same-sex couples based upon the foundational principles of horizontal equity, taxation of the economic unit, and a recognition of--and taxation based upon--economic reality rather than labels and politics. Revision of the Internal Revenue Code in pursuit of legislators' guiding principles will result in a tax code with integrity, a code that treats all taxpayers under it equally and is not influenced by the political zeitgeist.

For more information on LGBT tax issues check out these two blog entries I published earlier this year: Taxes 101 For Domestic Parents & Same-Sex Couples and Top 9 Tax Tips for the LGBT Community.

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