Monday, April 13, 2009
The moment really should have been a sweet one. For the first time in our 14-year relationship, my partner and I were signing tax forms together.
Together. (Cue the birds chirping.)
And who would ever think taxes could be a sweet moment for a couple? But for us? And for many same-sex couples, the drama of taxes and their on-going inequity are painful reminders of our relationships being deemed invisible by the very government we pay taxes to.
But not this year. In 2008, we were able to register as Domestic Partners. (Doesn’t that sound romantic? Domestic Partners. Don’t be jealous.)
When it came time to trot in to our tax preparer, we were sure it would be interesting. The State of Oregon would recognize us as a couple, and even Linda, our tax preparer, was excited to do our taxes this year. We’re always a good challenge for her: from being married in 2004, to not being married thanks to Oregon’s Measure 36, to doing our taxes independently every year over the years, this year it would be different. It even required two visits because the paperwork was complex.
Linda ran our taxes both ways so that we could see the difference. One was if the federal government recognized our relationship as a married couple (it doesn't). That showed we’d get a nice check back from the feds. But the second, and the final was with the state recognizing our relationship, but the federal government not recognizing us as married (remember DOMA, or Defense of Marriage Act, ensures this), we owed the feds.
In the end? The financial impact was $1,800.
So that, my friends, is the financial difference in taxes, that it costs us this year. And don’t get me started on all of the other inequities. Because this one is clear as day and I have a number for it. $1,800. And the only thing I have in response this point in time are the wonderful words of Kathy Griffin: