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10 Same-sex Marriage Tax Filing Tips

        Money | Taxes

4
Know Your Gift and Estate Exemptions
Since the U.S. government now recognizes same-sex marriage, gift and estate rules apply to same-sex marriages as well. Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/ThinkStock
Since the U.S. government now recognizes same-sex marriage, gift and estate rules apply to same-sex marriages as well. Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/ThinkStock

When it comes to filing your taxes, be sure you aren't overpaying on gift and estate tax. As of 2013, legally married same-sex couples can make monetary gifts to a spouse or a leave a spouse an estate without paying a gift or estate tax. Previously, married same-sex couples were not granted these exemptions.

Keep in mind that there is not a limit on how much money you can give your spouse. This is known as a lifetime marital deduction. However, you may need to pay taxes — or invoke limits — on the amount you gift to other people.

In 2015, the annual gift exemption limit was $14,000. Any amount given over the $14,000 in a single calendar year will require you to pay a gift tax on it. In addition, you'll need to file a gift tax return (Form 709), whether you exceeded the limit or not. That way, the IRS can keep track of the gifts you are bestowing on others.

Although you can give an unlimited amount in your lifetime to your spouse, including passing an estate to your spouse, your other gifts will go toward a lifetime exemption limit of $5.43 million [source: TurboTax].


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