Legal & Financial

U.S. tax laws are unfriendly to families with same-sex parents

Gay families pay on average higher taxes than their straight friends with few benefits. And same-sex couples must file separate income tax forms (although they may have married in Massachusetts or committed via civil unions in New jersey, Connecticut or Vermont).

Those who registered as domestic partners in states such as California must also file separate income tax forms. In other words, families with gay and lesbian parents pay higher federal income tax than their opposite-sex married counterparts.

According to the IRS, the U.S. government does not recognize any couple other than legally married opposite-sex couples. It cites the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (FDMA) as foundation for the decision. The IRS warns that attempts to file a joint return could lead to fines or other penalties.

Get tax tips, links, and information specifically for gays and lesbians at GayTax.com.