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What estate tax issue can now also benefit same sex couples?

Until recently, same sex couples could not take advantage of the same tax implications benefits that heterosexual couples could. That changed on June 25 of 2015 with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of gay marriage. But that historic decision did more than just grant same sex couples the right to get married in the nation. It also granted them these same rights to several different kinds of tax breaks. But what specific type of benefit is now also available to same sex couples?

One estate tax issue that can now also benefit same sex couples is the gift tax. While the IRS allows someone to give assets and property to any other individual, the amount of that gift cannot exceed $14,000 in a year. Any amount over the $14,000 limit is noted and kept on file by the IRS and counts against the lifetime total gift exclusion for the giver. Should the giver exceed this total amount, which varies every year due to inflation, he or she or their estate may possibly have to pay a tax.

However, this tax gift exclusion did not apply to heterosexual married couples. A spouse did not face a lifetime gift limit for any amount of assets or property that was given to their spouse because the IRS did not place any limit on what one spouse could give to another. Now that same sex marriage is legal in the nation, same sex couples can also avail themselves to this benefit.

Another estate tax issue that can now benefit same sex couples is the spousal estate tax. However, any Florida resident who wants to know what other benefits are now also available to same sex couples may want to speak to an estate planning attorney in order to discover which of these benefits may be most useful to them.

Source: bankrate.com, “Estate tax issues of same sex marriage,” Accessed April 4, 2016

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