For many LGBT families, Tax Day marks the end of an annual encounter with inequality. Although the federal tax code began incorporating marriage and family-based tax incentives in 1913, many LGBT families still cannot benefit from this tax relief.
A new policy report titled Unequal Taxation and Undue Burdens for LGBT Families, co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), Family Equality Council and the Center for American Progress, shines a light on these federal tax inequities.
The report also shows how unfair taxation not only hurts same-sex couples, but also harms children being raised in LGBT families. The report was made public Monday and received national media attention.
In IRS Makes Gay Parents 'Lie,' Shortchanging 2 Million Children, ABC News reporter Susan Donaldson James focused on the emotional and financial stress faced by LGBT taxpayers who have to carve up and misrepresent their families, and focused on the need to overturn or repeal DOMA as an important step toward federal recognition of LGBT families.
In Some Tax Breaks Unavailable to Same-Sex Couples, New York Times reporter Tara Siegel Bernard highlighted the stark realities faced by same-sex couples at tax time, particularly for families with children. Tara shared the side-by-side example from the report that shows that an LGBT family could lose $6,209 versus a heterosexual family with identical financial circumstances. The following document shows why:
Tax Inequity for LGBT Families in 2011
The full 20-page report provides a line-by-line review of key federal inequities, and makes recommendations for reforms such as creating a designated “permanent partner” tax filing status to allow LGBT parents to file jointly and expanding the IRS definition of “qualifying child” so that LGBT families can access critical child-related tax relief, including the $3,700 per child dependency exemptions, up to $4,000 in education-related deductions and credits, and up to $5,751 for the Earned Income Credit for low- and moderate-income families.
Unequal Taxation Undue Burdens for Lgbt Families
About the Movement Advancement Project
Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for LGBT people.
About Family Equality Council
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the one million LGBT parents in this country and the two million children they are raising.
About Center for American Progress
Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. The Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality Initiative (FIRE) at CAP explores the intersections of race, sexual orientation, economics and public policy.