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Gay marriage ruling means tax breaks, benefits for many

The Supreme Court decision offers married, same-sex couples the same financial rights as hetero couples.

By Smart Spending Editor Jun 26, 2013 11:58AM
This post is by MSN Money contributor Liz Weston.

mid section view of a teenage boy in a tuxedo © Stockbyte, Stockbyte, Getty ImagesThe Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act means that same-sex, married couples will have access to the federal benefits now enjoyed by other marrieds.

These benefits include tax breaks, Social Security benefits and estate planning advantages that until now were denied gay couples, even if their marriages were recognized under state law.

Among other things, gay marrieds will now be able to:
  • Claim Social Security benefits based on a spouse’s working record and qualify for survivor benefits.
  • Fund an IRA or Roth IRA for a nonworking spouse.
  • Split a retirement fund or other assets without triggering tax bills if they divorce.
  • Exempt health care benefits for a spouse from their federal income.
  • Bequeath their estate to a spouse without triggering potential federal estate taxes.
These gains may come with a cost: as NerdWallet puts it, “federal income tax brackets are in fact easier on high-income individuals than they are on most high-income married couples.” NerdWallet figured that same-sex couples earning more than $146,000 may see their tax bill go up by over $1,000.

One of my gay friends, a financial planner, just posted to her Facebook page that her taxes are likely to go up by several thousand dollars. But she was happy, as she put it, to “take one for the team.”
More from Liz Weston:
Jun 26, 2013 1:12PM
I agree, anyone in a legal relationship should be treated the same. But...

The English words marriage and matrimony refer to a religious sacrament or celebration, performed by every religion on this planet. The concept of marriage existed before the concept of overreaching governments who now try to control our lives and buy our votes. No government has any right to dictate the meaning of the word marriage, married or matrimony.

Governments have no place in marriage and should not be issuing marriage certificates to anyone. The government’s roll should be only to issue a civil union certificate (a legal binding document) to all who seek one within the governments’ rules. All who are joined in a civil ceremony (of which marriage is one type) should be bound by all the same laws, the good and the bad that have traditionally been a part of a marriage.

Each religion on their own can decide whom they consider to be married in their eyes and the government has no right to control that decision.

No one should receive government spousal benefits unless they are in a legal and binding committed relationship. Corporations should be free to set there own rules beyond a civil union regarding extending benefits and should not be vilified because of those decisions.

Jun 26, 2013 3:28PM
Gays should not be allowed to marry because they cannot have kids. By this logic barren women or couples that don't want kids should not be allowed to marry either. Gays should not be allowed to marry because it diminishes the value of marriage. More then 50% of marriages end in divorce so I don't know how seriously people take now. Gay people cannot be allowed to marry because if they do people will be able to marry their pets. until pets become citizens of a country and can fill out the necessary paperwork I dont think this will ever happen. Gay people should not be allowed to adopt because they may make their kid gay. Tell that to any Father who has tried and failed to make his kid straight. If we allow 2 people who do not know each other to marry after getting drunk at a bar or casino surely we can let 2 gay people who are in a committed relationship get married.
Jun 26, 2013 1:14PM
Something you all need to consider.

You have not yet gained any benefits. You still can not get federal benefits until the federal government recognizes the individual state laws that grant the legal union. I expect it will happen, unless obo the idiot changes his mind again.

Jun 26, 2013 4:18PM
More tax breaks and benefits. Just what our country needs more of.
Jun 26, 2013 4:43PM
Don't forget the marriage penalty.  Being married costs significantly more in terms of Federal and State income taxes.

So now polygamy is legal too right? Everyone loves each other in a 3+ person marriage, you cannot discriminate against it, and you can procreate.

Benefits for polygamists. That's a lot of men and women, and a lot of kids. If gay is legal, this should be too right?

Jun 26, 2013 1:42PM
I guess the long road to equal rights have paid off for the gays. Who do you thing the next group that people are going to demonize for being different (already did blacks, women, gays, and Muslims)?
Jun 26, 2013 3:34PM
So now the question is whether the Obama administration will cut the size of government to pay for this loss of revenue and increases in benefits oro will he call for higher taxes on everyone to pay for them?
Jun 26, 2013 1:44PM
In the end Civil rights will always beat discrimination but only though time and hard work. It worked for the Blacks, Women, and now the Gays
Jun 26, 2013 1:42PM
Is it not equally wrong for the old to take from the young, for the young to take from the middle aged? From real estate owners to take form renters? To deny benefits' to those with a plural marriage? This will expand the pensio and health care costs and may lead to the end of military, police fire and  public pensions in general; as perhaps should occur. As rights expand benefits contract
Jun 26, 2013 12:58PM
This is a very slippery slope. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions. Thanks a lot blue states! 
Jun 26, 2013 12:53PM
It's about time.  Taking $$$$$$ from gay Americans in order to fund straight-marriage-related benefits while, at the same denying those benefits to gay Americans, is wrong.  

Imagine if I said to you that I'm not going to let you have a gun AND I'm going to take money from you in the form of income tax deductions in order to pay for my guns.  How would that make you feel?
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