A recent decision by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Defense of Marriage Act creates an immediate opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered families to file protective tax refund claims, according to the accounting and advisory firm Marcum LLP.
Marcum, which launched a national LGBT and non-traditional family practice last spring, advises eligible families in this “broadly underserved” market to file protective claims for potential refunds of income and estate tax overpayments dating to 2009.
Marcum noted that the court found that DOMA’s definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. If the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case as expected and upholds this finding, same-sex couples previously denied income and estate tax deductions available to traditional families will be able to file claims for refunds of overpayments. (This will apply only to those whose marriages are recognized by the state in which they reside.)
“Filing a protective claim now will give LGBT and non-traditional family taxpayers standing while DOMA continues to work its way through the court system. It is critical that claims be filed immediately in order to stop the statute of limitations from running,” said Nanette Lee Miller of Marcum’s LGBT practice group and partner-in-charge of assurance services for the firm’s California offices.
“In addition to filing protective refund claims, non-traditional families should also carefully reconsider their current estate plans,” added Janis Cowhey McDonagh, a partner in the firm’s New York office, a member of its Trusts and Estates Practice Group, and a frequent lecturer on LGBT estate and income tax issues.