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WHAT’S THE CORRECT TAX FILING STATUS FOR CALIFORNIA GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES?

LGBT TAX EXPERTS

Tax Expert Same sex marriage Avo Asdourian, Tax Expert Same sex marriage

         Before you know it, April 15 will be upon us.   How would LGBT couples of California residents know what family status to take?

Although the state of California currently recognizes same sex marriage as legal, Gay and Lesbian couples still have the option to file as Registered Domestic Partners (RDP).  “As 2014 is the first year gay and lesbian couples can file as married couples, here are a few tips that might help LGBT couples decide which status best fits their needs.” said Avo Asdourian, EA Legal Tax Representative to the IRS.  LGBT couples can always take great benefit in consulting with Avo on their taxes especially when things get complicated and overwhelming. It’ easy to contact Avo either through this blog or when you click here. Contact Avo.

           As with the federal…

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WHAT’S THE CORRECT TAX FILING STATUS FOR CALIFORNIA GAY AND LESBIAN COUPLES?

Tax Expert Same sex marriage

Avo Asdourian, Tax Expert Same sex marriage

         Before you know it, April 15 will be upon us.   How would LGBT couples of California residents know what family status to take?

Although the state of California currently recognizes same sex marriage as legal, Gay and Lesbian couples still have the option to file as Registered Domestic Partners (RDP).  “As 2014 is the first year gay and lesbian couples can file as married couples, here are a few tips that might help LGBT couples decide which status best fits their needs.” said Avo Asdourian, EA Legal Tax Representative to the IRS.  LGBT couples can always take great benefit in consulting with Avo on their taxes especially when things get complicated and overwhelming. It’ easy to contact Avo either through this blog or when you click here. Contact Avo.

           As with the federal tax return, California allows same -sex couples to take the standard deduction for the taxpayer’s filing status or to itemize deductions. Choosing the larger of these two amounts will result in the lower tax.  

 

California standard deduction is $3,906 for single and married/RDP filing separate.

California standard deduction is $7,812 for married/RDP filing joint, head of household, and qualified widow(er).  

 

Taxpayers may itemize deductions on the federal return and claim the standard deduction on the California return, or, conversely, claim the standard deduction on the federal return and itemize deductions for California. 

california

For federal tax purposes, registered domestic partners are considered single.  If one itemizes, the other is not required to itemize.

 

For California returns, if the partners file using the married/RDP filing separate status, both must itemize deductions or both must take the standard deduction.

 

For California returns, if partnes file as married/RDP filing joint, use the more advantageous amount – standard deduction or itemized deductions.   Be sure to include both partners’ expenses when computing the itemized amounts.

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On Monday, The White House and the U.S. Small Business Administration announced an expansion of President Obama’s SupplierPay initiative, a partnership with the private sector to strengthen small businesses by increasing their working capital, so they can grow and hire more workers.

https://www.sba.gov/blogs/21-more-corporations-take-supplierpay-pledge

 

21 More Corporations Take SupplierPay Pledge

By Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator
Published: November 18, 2014Updated: November 18, 2014

This July, I stood alongside President Obama at the White House and announced a vital new partnership between the government and private sector to strengthen America’s small businesses by increasing their access to affordable working capital. SupplierPay is about paying small suppliers on time and keeping their interest rates low, so they can invest in new equipment, new products and new people.

Twenty-six U.S. corporations took the SupplierPay pledge this summer, and yesterday 21 additional corporations signed on. Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council, and I joined together at the White House to recognize these companies for their commitment to grow our economy.

When companies do not pay their small suppliers promptly, the impact is felt at the community level. Small suppliers must find alternative financing options, which can mean layoffs or raising prices to the detriment of their loyal customer base.

SupplierPay is a win-win.  It’s a win for small businesses because they gain payment certainty that allows them to plan for growth. That could mean hiring full-time employees with health benefits, instead of relying on more expensive contract labor.  Or it could mean investing in new products and better processes that will improve their bottom line.

SupplierPay is also a win for U.S. corporations. Providing payment certainty to small businesses means corporate buyers will get higher-quality goods and services and pay less for them.  We’re competing in a global economy, and strong, nimble supply chains give American companies a competitive edge.

Small firms create 2 out of 3 new jobs in America and account for half of all private-sector employment. Approximately one-quarter of our small businesses are firms that primarily supply other firms. Entering corporate supply chains allows the average small business to grow its revenue by 250 percent and its workforce by 150 percent. SupplierPay is an initiative that goes to the heart of our economy’s growth potential.

Manzi Metals in Florida is the only black-owned, woman-owned metals distribution company in the country. Barbara Manzi started her company 25 years ago and it’s now a multi-million dollar enterprise supplying some of the largest companies in the world, including the Department of Defense and NASA.

After the financial crisis, many of Barbara’s clients extended their payment windows substantially, depriving her of the working capital she needed to scale up and innovate. Now, two of her largest clients, Lockheed Martin and Rolls Royce, have joined the SupplierPay movement, allowing Manzi Metals to start hiring and innovating again.

That’s the power of SupplierPay.

Going forward, SBA will be convening a working group to share best practices. Faster payments are just one way to get affordable working capital to our entrepreneurs.  We will study other methods and share them, so companies can choose a financing strategy that makes sense for them.

But today, we salute the trailblazers in this movement. By supporting America’s small businesses, these companies are supporting local jobs and local communities – and our economy and our country will be stronger for it.sba

 

 

Tim Cook Says He is “Proud to Be Gay”

Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed Tuesday that he identifies as gay, and in doing so instantly becomes the most prominent openly gay business executive.

“While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now,” Cook says in an essay for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.“

Over the past couple of years Cook has taken a number of strong positions in favor of LGBT rights, but had chosen not to discuss his sexuality.

“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” Cook writes in the essay. “So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.”

Last year, he gave a poignant speech at an event for his alma mater, Auburn University, in which he talked about experience discrimination firsthand as he grew up, though he did not get into specifics.

He also wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal calling on Congress to outlaw job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Though Cook had not publicly declared his sexuality until now, Out magazine already hadnamed him to its “Power List” of LGBT executives.

6 Major Tax and Financial Implications of Gay Marriage Ruling

The impediments to same-sex marriages throughout the country are being washed away. This trend has continued in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court decision last year (Windsor v. U.S, No. 12-307, 6/26/13) invalidating Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In the latest development on October 6, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear cases from five states — Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin – where same-sex marriage is prohibited by state law. If six other states covered by the same circuit appeals court — Colorado, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, West Virginia, and Wyoming – drop their bans as expected, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage would increase from 19 to 30, or more than half the 50 states.

What are the financial repercussions? Although certain aspects are still being sorted out, here’s a brief summary of the lay of the land in several key areas.

Income taxes: The IRS says a same-sex couple should be treated like a traditional married couple for all federal income tax purposes if they’ve entered into a marriage in a state where such a marriage is legal. It doesn’t matter if the couple resides in a state where same-sex marriage is banned. If a couple chooses to do so, it can file an amended return for a open tax year, but they’re not obligated to do so. State law still control for state income tax purposes.

Estate and gift taxes: Under federal law, the unlimited marital deduction generally shelters transfers between spouses from estate and gift taxes. Because same-sex couples are now treated like traditional married couples, planning opportunities exist. For instance, documents such as wills and trusts may be revised to maximize the benefits of the federal estate tax exemption, including using the portability provision for any remaining exemption of a deceased spouse. Naturally, state law controls concerning state death and inheritance taxes.

Social Security benefits: Prior to the Windsor decision, a surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage wasn’t eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits based on a deceased spouse’s earnings record. Now such a claim may be filed with the Social Security administration (SSA) if a couple was married in a state permitting same-sex marriages and the survivor resides in a state recognizing same-sex marriage. However, for the time being, the SSA says it will continue to follow state law on other claims.

Qualified retirement accounts and IRAs: The rights and benefits for same-sex married couples now mirror those for traditional married couples if one spouse participates in a qualified retirement plan like a 401(k) plan – regardless or whether the employer is based in a state recognizing same-sex marriages. Thus, a surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage may benefit from favorable distribution rules under the law. Similarly, rules benefitting a surviving spouse of an IRA holder are extended to a surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage.

Employee benefits: Employees may be eligible for employer-provided fringe benefits like health insurance. Previously, if a health insurance plan covered a same-sex spouse of an employee, the employee spouse was taxed on the value of the coverage. Now the coverage is tax-free — just like it is for spouses of traditional marriages. Other rules involving fringe benefits involving employees in same-sex marriages are still evolving .

Divorce: While it is definitely getting easier these days for same-sex couples to get married, the same is not necessarily true for divorcing. It is especially complicated if a couple was married in a another state permitting same-sex marriages but seek a dissolution in a state where such marriages aren’t allowed. Again, the laws in this area are still evolving, so you can expect more developments in the near future.