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Since the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage, these couples are viewed as strangers in many parts of their financial lives. They need to file separate federal tax returns, for instance. However, sometimes our partnerships can provide certain advantages. Take the adoption tax credit. If you adopt your spouse’s child, you cannot claim the credit. But since same-sex married couples are not considered spouses under federal law, they are permitted to use the credit - at least until their unions are recognized.
Facebook has joined a group of forward thinking companies supporting families of their gay workforce. Domestic partners won't have to pay the extra tax that comes along with their health insurance benefit. Gay couples fortunate enough to work for employers that extend health insurance to domestic partners are at a disadvantage because they are taxed on the value of that coverage - a tax that is not paid by their heterosexual married colleagues.
Germany's highest court has ruled that gay couples in civil partnerships are entitled to the same inheritance tax rules as married heterosexual couples. The AP reports the Federal Constitutional Court decided in favor of two homosexual plaintiffs after each had lost their partner and contested rules under which they had to pay inheritance tax as if they were distant relatives of the deceased.
The Sacramento Bee explores financial planning for gay couples who live in California [and elsewhere]. Financial experts say couples should be paying close attention to such issues as tax planning, health care, inheritance and child guardianship.
"The estate planning and legal issues are still going to be there. And they're the same as with any married couple, only far more complicated for same-gender couples," says estate planning attorney Penny Brown.