Tax changes after DOMA ruling

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MASON CITY, IOWA – In late June the Supreme Court of the United States weighed in on same-sex marriage.

The high court struck down section three of  “the Defense of Marriage Act” clearing the way for federal recognition of married same-sex couples.

Laurie McBride is a woman who is all about being treated equal.

Her home country of Canada recognizes same-sex marriage, and it was a victory for her and her wife of three years when the Supreme Court took steps to do the same.

“We married for love, and that’s the only reason we got married. Same as anybody else,” said McBride.

While they may have love, and marriage, they also have a new tax situation they haven’t had before.

That’s why McBride and others like her are attending this meeting, to see how to file, and find out what tax laws will now pertain to them.

“There are more than 200 provisions in tax code where marital status determines the tax treatment of different tax things. The DOMA ruling has a profound impact for couples in same gender marriages because now the federal government recognizes their marriage,” said Jason Dinesen with Dinesen Tax & Accounting P.C.

Jason Dinesen, along with One Iowa Executive Director Donna Red Wing, decided to come to Mason City to educate those affected by this.

Dinesen says that many of his clients are still somewhat shocked to hear about all they need to do.

‘There are a lot of nuances that people are not aware of that’s the main thing.  We haven’t really heard from the IRS on this so there are a lot of unknowns,” said Dinesen.

But one thing they do know is that a same-sex marriage will be treated the same as a heterosexual one

Couples who have been married since 2010 can go back and re-file for the years they’ve been married, and catch up on any tax benefits they missed out on.

“They need to look a their tax situation, potentially talk to a professional and re-write what this really means for them, because it’s like starting a whole new life almost for tax purposes,” said Dinesen.

“We’re on an equal basis now, and I think that heterosexual marriages they should probably have education on this because there are so many out there that none of us know about,” said McBride.

Dinesen says same-sex married couples will officially be able to check off married status on their taxes in the year 2013.

He says many may even see a tax refund coming back to them, if they married from 2010 on.

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