Queer Our Taxes

Taxation with LGBT Representation

The current federal income tax system is unfair to LGBT people and our families.

For example, many of us can’t:
  • claim our kids on our tax returns
  • access deductions for shared expenses such as for  mortgage payments
  • access tax credits to help low-income families.

We have launched the Queer Our Taxes campaign to have our tax system more fairly reflect the reality of LGBT lives. See it as taxation with LGBT representation.

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I believe that hard-working, same-sex couples who live together, pay bills together, and build lives and families together should have access to all the potential family tax benefits that the system offers. I support the introduction of a “Filing as Family” filing status and “Dependent for Tax Purposes” dependency designation. Everyone should be allowed to claim the refunds they deserve.

A Typical Situation —
“Treat Us As Families”

Hard working same-sex couples who live together, pay bills together and build lives and families together should have access all the potential family tax benefits that the system offers.

Here’s a typical situation many families find themselves in: Let’s say Cheri and Kaprice live with their twin sons, Anton and Charlie, in Tupelo, Mississippi. Anton and Charlie are Cheri's biological children, and have no relationship to their birth father. They call Cheri "Mom," and Kaprice "Mama." Mississippi does not recognize same-sex marriage and will not allow couples of the same gender to jointly adopt. Kaprice works full time, and takes home $25,024 a year. Cheri works when she can find a job, but spends most of the year caring for their kids. Last year, she earned $4,322 outside the home. Because, in Mississippi, Kaprice can't adopt her own kids, they are not qualifying children for tax purposes, so if she claims them as dependents she can't get the Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Credit.

Filing separately, Kaprice would walk away with about $200.

Filing as a family, Kaprice and Cheri will get a refund of $5,800.

Suggested Reforms:

File as Family: Make a new filing status, File as Family, that recognizes us as families and accepts joint filing returns from same-sex couples who are unmarried.

Claim our Kids: Create a new "Dependent for Tax Purposes" category that would let us claim the children we¹re raising even if we live in a state that won¹t let us adopt them.

Creating these changes would mean:
  • More money in the pockets of many same-sex couples and their families.
  • Equal access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Income Tax credits, especially important to low income couples with children.
  • A multi-million dollar boost to the economy.

Get involved!

  • Sign up on this page to pledge your support for a fairer more reality-based tax code!
  • Make a donation to support the campaign.
  • Spread the word about the Queer Our Taxes campaign.
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