Queer Our Taxes: A Great Resource for LGBTQ Tax Filers
March marks the home stretch of tax season! As families work to file their tax returns, understanding the ins and outs of filing statuses, deductions, and various tax credits can be challenging for many people. And tax season can present unique challenges for LGBTQ individuals and families. Luckily, the National LGBTQ Task Force is here to help with their new, “Queer Our Taxes Taxpayer Guide.”
Here are a few highlights from this great resource:
- Name and Gender: Tax preparers will ask for your name, and some will ask for your gender, for your tax return. The IRS will check your name and gender against the Social Security Administration’s records. This guide gives you tips for changing your name or gender marker with the Social Security Administration.
- Marriage and Filing Status: With the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015, marriage equality is the law in every state. If you were married as of December 31, 2015 you are considered married for all of 2015 for tax purposes—which means you must file your taxes under the filing status Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. This guide explains the differences between the different filing statuses that married people can use.
- Claiming Dependents: This guide covers who can claim a child as a dependent, a question that can become complicated for LGBTQ individuals who might be raising children but not have legal ties to them. The guide explains how you can claim a child as “qualifying child” or a “qualifying relative” on your tax return.
- Adoption Credits: This guide describes the Adoption Credit and Adoption Assistance Program tax break that families can use to offset some of the costs of adoption. (The guide also covers tax credits that can help low- and middle-income families with some of the costs of raising children, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
- Medical Deductions: If you had big-ticket, out-of-pocket medical costs, this guide explains how you may benefit from itemizing your deductions rather than taking the standard deduction. Examples of these medical expenses that you may want to itemize include transition-related care (including surgery), HIV and Hepatitis C-related care, abortions, fertility treatments, and substance use-related care.
For more information, including explanations of different tax scenarios that may be unique to LGBTQ filers, check out our webinar with the Human Rights Campaign and the LGBTQ Taskforce!