In the Wake of DOMA Overturn, New York is First State to Announce Tax Refunds for Same Sex Couples – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning and Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on August 5, 2013

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the state of New York has announced that it will give estate tax refunds to same sex couples who file amended estate tax returns.

In U.S. v. Windsor, Edith Windsor, a New York resident, married her partner, Thea Spyer, in Canada. When Spyer later died, she left her entire estate to Mrs. Windsor. Because the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses did not recognize same sex marriages, Spyer’s estate paid more than $600 thousand in New York and federal estate taxes. Almost $400 thousand of the $600 thousand was paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Windsor paid the estate tax, then filed a petition for refund in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York after which it made its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then found DOMA to be unconstitutional. The same day, the high court essentially held in Hollingsworth v. Perry that same sex marriage in California could resume.

The New York state refund applies to same sex marriage estates where a spouse died before July 24, 2011, and the statute of limitations to apply for a refund is still open. Generally, an estate tax refund must be filed within three years from the date the original return was filed or two years from the date the tax was paid.

After the DOMA overturn, the IRS announced it was reviewing the decision and would provide guidance at a later date.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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