Monday, March 2, 2009


Tax time again.  Every year I get a knot in my stomach doing my taxes. 

It's not because I owe money.  I usually work out my W-4 each year so I get a refund, so tax time doesn't result in dread of having to actually right a check, thank god.  And it's not so much the paperwork, although it is a hassle to check, double check, and triple check everything, Turbo Tax allows me to wiz through it all fairly quickly.  

No, what kills me about doing the taxes is in inequity of it for gay & lesbian couples.  Fortunately for us, California actually treats our Registered Domestic Partnership as a marriage, and allows us to pay taxes as if we were a legally married couple.  This is great, because it equals a larger refund, and is a huge benefit over living in a state that does not do this.  However, in order to file this way in turbo tax, here's what I have to do:
  1. Prepare and file Fed taxes as Single / Head of Household. Note refund amount, let's say it's $100
  2. Save Fed taxes as a new file, and change settings to Married Filing Jointly.  
  3. Note new Federal Refund amount - if step 1 was $100, now it's $235!  
  4. Skip ahead to State Taxes, prepare & File State Taxes, all the while looking at that box labeled "Federal Refund = $235"
You see I don't get this larger refund amount.  Oh no.  I just get to look at at.  I would get the larger refund if the Federal Government considered us married.  But they don't.  And so each year I pay a LOT more in taxes as a result. And let me tell you it's significantly more than my example amount of $135!

So I have to look at the larger amount the entire time I prepare my state taxes, grumbling the whole time about the injustice of it.  There it is - Turbo Tax rubbing it in my face.  And when I get to the end, Turbo Tax kindly offers to file this Federal return for me. "Would you like to have your non-existent almost 2.5 times larger refund direct deposited into your checking account in 8 days?" It mockingly asks me.  Um, YEAH I WOULD. REALLY.

I am pleased that at least California's got it right, even if our marriages aren't legal, at least Registered Domestic Partners get some of the tax benefits of marriage.  Nothing like being "kinda equal."

Hrmpf.   I'm going back to my grumbling. 

No comments: