Savannah Couple Applauds Equal Tax Benefits - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Savannah Couple Applauds Equal Tax Benefits

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SAVANNAH, GA -

Same-sex married couples have cleared another hurdle. In less than two weeks legally married gay couples will be able to file joint federal tax returns.

A married Savannah gay couple said this new regulation is less about finances and more about making all marriages equal.

After 15 years together, Billy Wooten and his partner Derrol Hutcheson, legally tied the knot in Washington D.C. last year.

"For the future. We felt like this was coming, there would be a time our union would be recognized nationally," said Wooten.

Now that it has, in terms of federal tax benefits, Hutcheson said it's time for the states to pick up the slack. 

"I would like for the state of Georgia to legitimize it also so we are not stuck in the process between federal and state guidelines for tax returns and other financial obligations and it's all one financial opportunity for all of us," said Hutcheson.

Since same-sex marriage is not legal in Georgia or South Carolina, couples here will have a little more work to do when filing their tax returns together.

"Presumably you'll have to recalculate your federal return as if you had filed it as single because you're starting number in Georgia is your federal return income," said Hancock Askew & Co. CPA Manager, Susan Clifford.

Susan Clifford, a Certified Public Accountant Manager with Hancock Askew and company, said some same sex couples might be surprised at the result of filing jointly.

"In general if you are a professional couple with higher incomes you are going to discover you are paying more taxes than you were in the past," said Clifford.

Wooten said just as vows say "for better or worse" - he'll take the repercussions if it means his marriage is just like everyone else's. 

Clifford said same-sex couples that have been legally married for the past three years are able to go back and amend their tax return if they find it beneficial.

If you have questions regarding tax benefits for same-sex marriages click here:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Answers-to-Frequently-Asked-Questions-for-Same-Sex-Married-Couples

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