As explained by Sandra Block in the December, 2013 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, this is the first year in which same sex couples who have entered into a marriage that’s legal where it occurred are also considered married for federal tax purposes.
(At last count, 16 U.S. states and the District of Columbia offer same-sex marriage.)
This has some important implications for such couples’ interest in tax matters. As with any married couple, says Block, dual-income same-sex couples “who earn about the same amount will likely end up paying a marriage penalty.”
But nonprofits should be happy to hear one of Block’s suggested ways to avoid or reduce the penalty:
Increase contributions to charity, and take a tax deduction.
If you’re with a nonprofit that promotes LGBT marriage and other rights, you’re particularly well-placed to remind potential donors about the importance of this deduction. But, as society is finally figuring out, gay and lesbian folks come from all walks of life, and may have multiple interests.
Therefore, any charity should be thinking about how to reach out to newly married donors (of the same or opposite sex, come to think of it) who are seeing, for the first time, some significant tax benefits to giving to their favorite cause.