Joint Filing to be Available for Maryland Same-Sex Couples in Tax Year 2013

We’ve been closely following the developing legal recognition of same-sex couples in Maryland.  Yesterday, welcome news from Comptroller Peter Franchot: “[w]ith the New Year approaching I want to make sure that it is clear to everyone that same-sex couples in the State of Maryland – whether married in this state or in other states – will have the opportunity to file joint tax returns for Tax Year 2013, and will receive the same state tax treatment as any married couple.”

The Comptroller vowed to take the necessary legislative or regulatory steps to make joint filing possible.  What remains unclear is whether the unlimited marital deduction available for assets passing to certain surviving spouses will also be made available to similarly situated same-sex couples.  Based on the Comptroller’s remarks, that chance that same-sex couples will achieve this estate tax advantage is promising.  Furthermore, Maryland Attorney General Spokesman David Paulson stated that his office is working on an advice letter regarding the impact of same-sex marriage on different benefits, including spousal death benefits.  He anticipates that the advice letter will be ready around when the General Assembly convenes in 2013.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed, but until then, know that we plan for same-sex couples no matter what the legislative climate and can revise those plans as developments unfold.  Call us at (301) 468-3220 or email us at to schedule an appointment.

-  Gary Altman, Esq. and Coryn Rosenstock

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