Thursday, January 17, 2008

California Registered Domestic Partnerships Blaze New Tax Ground

I had a startling call from my CPA yesterday. He informed me that a new law passed by the California legislature says that as of January 1, 2008 Registered Domestic Partners (called RDP for brevity for the duration of blog) will be required to file Married Filing Jointly (or Married filing separately) for tax year 2007 and beyond. Now since the federal government passed the Defense of Marriage act (called DOMA for brevity, or as I like to call it, DUMBASS) RDPs cannot file Married returns to the feds. So what does this mean? Well, it basically means a big, confusing mess. So Dena and I will have to file one state return, Married Filing Jointly. Then we will have to file 2 (one each) Federal returns as single people. Oh by the way, my CPA said he was going to charge me $ 1,350 to due our returns. HELL NO!! I am looking for a new tax preparer, someone gay who has a vested interest in knowing the law.

But, for those of you that are a little tax savvy, how in the world can you determine how to file a state return when it's all based on the federal return? Good question. Our tax preparer would have to prepare a fake federal return as Married Filing Jointly, not file it, but use it to prepare the State return. Confusing, maybe, expensive, YES. So basically, Dena and I would need 4 returns prepared of which we'll use 3. Heterosexual married couples only need 2, one state and one federal. Tax preparers charge by the return normally, so we get charged double. How nice.

Also, it seems to me that since this is the first year this will occur there will be a high margin for error for returns and perhaps a high audit rate. This does not sit well with me. I have a severe fear of the taxman. Perhaps, and most of you will shudder to read me having any optimism at all, but just perhaps there may be some financial benefit. Nah.........the taxman taketh away but never giveth!

For reference:

California RDP
Defense of Marriage Act
California Franchise Tax Board RDP info

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