With the legalization of same-sex marriages has come a variety of empowering opportunities for individuals across the country, some of which relate directly to personal finances and tax planning. Although tax deductions previously reserved for opposite-sex married couples are now available to same-sex couples, individuals who have chosen to remain in a domestic partnership may not be able to qualify for the same benefits granted to married couples. With that in mind, individuals involved in a domestic partnership should carefully evaluate their options in order to determine what domestic partner tax benefits they may be able to qualify for over the short and long term.
Identifying Your Tax Benefit Opportunities
Very few tax benefit opportunities are available to couples in domestic partnerships. The IRS domestic partner qualification standards are relatively rigid and provide a very narrow definition by which an individual can be qualified for domestic partner tax benefits. Effectively, your domestic partner will be considered a dependent on your own financial tax return. By IRS standards, the domestic partner must remain in residence with you for the entire year. There are no waivers granted in this particular situation.
Much like a traditional dependent scenario, you must provide more than half of the financial support required for the domestic partner. Finally, your domestic partner's income level must not exceed the federally mandated exemption amount, which is currently valued at $4,050.
Many individuals living in domestic partnerships have significant interest in any domestic partner health insurance tax exemption opportunities that may be available. Regardless of whether your particular state recognizes domestic partnerships when it comes to offering health insurance benefits, the federal government will require that the non-dependent individual in the partnership pay income tax and Social Security tax on any premiums granted to a domestic partner.
Filing For Benefits
You can use IRS Form 1040 in order to claim a domestic partner as a dependent. Keep in mind that the dependent will be automatically disqualified and ineligible for domestic partner tax benefits if they fail to meet the requirements for dependency as outlined above.
Generally speaking, the rules applying to how an individual qualifies as an IRS domestic partner have not changed significantly over the past few years. With that in mind, individuals hoping to register their significant other as an IRS domestic partner should not be overly concerned that disqualification may suddenly appear on the horizon.
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