Note to Utah’s Newly-Married Same Sex Couples

wedding ringsOn December 20, 2013, Judge Shelby of the District Court of Utah ruled that Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriages violated the U.S. Constitution.[fn1] For various reasons, there was no stay of the decision, and approximately 1,300 same-sex couples married in Utah.

On Monday, January 6, the Supreme Court issued a stay of Judge Shelby’s decision, halting same-sex marriages at least until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has a chance to rule on the issue. Continue reading

Decriminalizing Polygamy

sister_wives_tv_series_logoOn Friday, December 13, the Judge Waddoups, a district court judge in the District of Utah, held that Utah’s criminalization of polygamy was unconstitutional.[fn1] Partly, anyway.

More on that in a minute. I suspect that this opinion will reverberate throughout the blogosphere and the mainstream media, with the reporting displaying various levels of accuracy. The question I suspect won’t get much play, though, is, what are the tax consequences of this decision?  Continue reading

Joint Returns and Same-Sex Couples

ImageIn 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). Until this year, DOMA did two significant things: it allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, and it prevented the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for any purpose. Any purpose included for tax purposes: for all federal income, gift, and estate tax purposes, same-sex spouses were treated as unrelated individuals.  Continue reading