First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes tax season.
New York state’s gay couples earned the right to marry in 2011, but they found themselves facing a new hurdle — tax headaches caused by conflicting federal laws and recently altered state laws. Thankfully there’s Giacomo Campinoti, a Brooklyn numbers-cruncher who has come to be known as the “gay tax” man.
In the months since state legislators approved gay marriage, Campinoti has begun specializing in helping same-sex spouses cope with Uncle Sam’s head-spinning new rules, which require gay couples to submit both joint and separate tax returns.
“It’s not easy — but I can help,” said the Park Slope, Brooklyn-based bean counter.
In New York state, hitched gay couples must prepare multiple sets of tax returns, including a “dummy” return, because federal law defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman.
Federal taxes get even more complicated with factors such as spousal health insurance policies, favorable head-of-household rates, and child tax credit.
While gay beaus are still cheering New York’s approval of gay marriage as a civil rights victory, many admit it has sparked serious tax conundrums.
“There are so many questions and so many ‘what ifs,’’” said Annette Fisher, who married her partner at Borough Hall.
Fisher said she chose not to file joint taxes this year because the pay off wasn’t worth the effort.
But that’s where Campinoti comes in.
The accountant, who is married but not gay, took seminars specializing in same-sex tax filings — which he claims can become too complicated for tax software programs to handle.
His rates range from $50 to $1,000 depending on the complexity and amount of paperwork. The end goal is to save gay folks some needed cash come tax season.
That pleases Fisher, who says it’s all about equality, and thinks that tax advantages shouldn’t be limited to a man and his female wife.
“There are benefits to getting married — and the point is that it should be fair across the whole country,” she said.
©2013 Community News Group
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