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The Church of Jeebus Crispy—send money now

I wrote a large check last night for my 2010 income taxes. The fab GF and I each had to file extensions this year because of this funny law that was passed in MARCH ferchrissakes that forces registered domestic partners (or those of us who have a legal relationship equivalent to RDP) to pool income, divide the total by two, and then use this total to figure income tax.

We can't split deductions, of course. And she's getting a refund, though not enough to offset the amount on that check I wrote. Yes, the law is structured to force us to pay more taxes than hetero people who are married couples. Intentionally. Cause everyone knows teh gaies are rich rich rich.

Jeebus Crispy.

Given the economy, I am aware that I sound whiny. It's a nice problem to have---we're both doing well enough that we owe taxes, etc. But this is crappy. We're married. Why can't we be treated at the same level of crappiness as other married people? Why the added super-sauce of crappiness? Because we're both innies and not an innie and an outie?

And it also points to something BTD often mentions---tax policy. And how taxes aren't about government paying its bills, but how government uses taxes to redistribute wealth. And BTD is right.

Imagine doing your taxes in late November and realizing you're going to have to send the IRS a check for $1,000. Instead of giving it to the IRS, you could scrape up that money and donate it to a tax-exempt organization and take the deduction. Instead of sending the money to the IRS, you send it out into the community.

The IRS doesn't pay its bills with tax money. It doesn't build roads or anything else. And the Treasury doesn't need your tax dollars. But tax dollars moving from me to you or you to me or all the way around the block and across coutnry means wealth moves from person to person, who can use it to do things like buy groceries and pay the water bill.

Yes, it's a nice problem to have: knowing you owe $1,000 in taxes ahead of time and being able to give it away without worrying how you're going to buy groceries or pay the water bill. Make no mistake: I'm acutely aware how lucky we are, because that's the difference between us and a lot of folk. Luck. Pure, unadulterated luck.

And I'm aware at how thin a thread we hang by. It can all go to crap very very fast.

Regardless, I shall soldier on because there may be an opportunity here regarding the microlending discussion that crops up occassionally. Perhaps there is an argument to be made for creating a tax-exempt nonprofit to take in funds that would then be shared by those in need. This could be beneficially if it's tied to accountants or accounting software that would allow anyone to get an estimate income taxes for the current year. Find out what you're going to owe and donate it before the end of the year. Take the deduction. Or don't.

Maybe this tax-exempt nonprofit should be a church. The Church of Jeebus Crispy.

I dunno. I've never done the nonprofit thing. Well, not intentionally.

But I had I known ahead of time, I would've been mighty tempted to send a check to the Church of Jeebus Crispy.

March ferjebussssake.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

thanks for posting this, or I would have no way of knowing about it. And while yours is a nicer problem to have than how will rent be paid next month, it is still and injustice. And part of the same attitude of disrespect for human rights that is holding us all back.

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

recognize your relationship because of DOMA, they are still establishing different tax rules for you? Assholes.

Am I understanding this right? You and the GF cannot file separate federal tax returns? I don't mean to sound obtuse. I am just having trouble wrapping my brain around this. The feds reject your relationship when it gives you any benefit, but screw you on taxes.

Submitted by ohio on

We have no choice but to file this way. We were legally married in another jurisdiction.

We must file separately but our income must be pooled and divided by two, with each of us taking 1/2 the toal as income. We cannot file jointly.

Interestingly, when we asked our accountant to file a joint return for us before March, he said we'd save on our taxes if we filed separately---save enough to make a difference. If we'd filed before March

IRS Pub555, page 2 for specific information about RDPs and Lambda Legal, www.lambdalegal.org/publications/take-th... for mroe info.

Quoting from the Lambda Legal FAQ, item 16:

16 For different-sex spouses, the IRS recognizes the shared ownership
of community income in Washington because of such property’s
ownership under state law, which is unrelated to the fact that
Washington does not presently have a state income tax.

17 Washington law treats any couple in a same-sex union, if that union
was validly formed under the law of another jurisdiction and is
substantially equivalent to a Washington registered domestic
partnership. See RCW § 26.60.090 (2011).

18 If you are a Washington RDP who applies community property
treatment to your federal tax return and the IRS questions your doing
so, please contact Lambda Legal’s Help Desk at (213) 382-7600 ext.
330 and alert us.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

I quit work a couple years ago partly because our tax bill was HUGE! I suppose it is a good problem to have in many ways but by the time the taxes, daycare, lunches and other expenses were paid, I wasn't making very much money. We were working VERY hard to get both of us to work and the baby to daycare to the point that life revolved around the jobs.

Now we don't have extra money but the taxes aren't so bad.

Yes, they definitely do a bit of social engineering with tax policy - I wish "we" benefitted more.

Submitted by ohio on

Last night the fab GF, who is very calm and thoughtful, looked at me and said, "We need to go all We're-Here-We're-Queer about this."

Because no one knows about it. No one is talking about it. No one mentions it. Part of it is a weird thing some people have about money. They don't want to talk about having it, making money, etc. It's like it's rude or something.

Money does not mirror your value as a human being. Neither does not having money. And a government that treats some of its citizens like shit because, hey, who gives a damn? That says something rotten about that government.

Do I think this bit of tax crap is the equivalent of other inequities? Hell no. But it's part of a continuum built on the idea that some of us are crap and it does not matter how crap gets treated.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

They want to encourage a certain "type" of family so they tax the shit out of families that don't fit this mold. This just gets me going every time I think about all the different and subtle ways the government intrudes into our private lives and tries to manipulate us to behave certain ways!

I wish they would use regulations and business taxes to encourge an ethical type of business rather than encouraging outsourcing, near monopoly and too big to fail. It would be a better focus and surely there is more money there than in all the gay married families combined (or the married couples where those women insist on earning money).

The death by 1000 small cuts, every cut derserves to have attention drawn to it because if we are all quiet, you know nothing can change.

Submitted by hipparchia on

[i want their health care system too btw]

from the washington post:

The PACS was introduced a decade ago by France's then-Socialist Party government. Parliament approved the measure only after a fierce debate because, although its wording was deliberately ambiguous, the arrangement was understood mainly as a way for gay couples to legalize their unions even though under French law they are not allowed to marry.

In passing the law without making it specific to gays, however, France distinguished itself from other European countries that have approved civil unions or even marriage for same-sex couples. As a result of that ambiguity, the PACS broadened into an increasingly popular third option for heterosexual couples, who readily cite its appeal: It has the air of social independence associated with the time-honored arrangement that the French call the "free union" but with major financial and other advantages. It is also far easier to get out of than marriage.

The number of PACS celebrated in France, both gay and heterosexual unions, has grown from 6,000 in its first year of operation in 1999 to more than 140,000 in 2008, according to official statistics. For every two marriages in France, a PACS is celebrated, the statistics show, making a total of half a million PACSed couples, and the number is rising steadily.

Yves Padovani, chief clerk at the Marseille court, said couples stream through his office every day at half-hour intervals and make appointments three months in advance to get a slot.

Perhaps more important as an indication of how French people live, the number of heterosexual men and women entering into a PACS agreement has grown from 42 percent of the total initially to 92 percent last year.

That was not what conservative opponents of the measure foresaw in 1999. They viewed it as an encouragement of homosexuality and organized rallies to denounce the Socialists for undermining morality in France. Christine Boutin, housing minister under conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, was among the most vociferous critics and still complains that the PACS harms society by serving as a substitute for marriage.

In recognition of the PACS's growing popularity, however, a half-dozen French cities, skirting the terms of the law, have recently begun holding marriagelike PACS ceremonies in the often ornate city hall rooms formerly reserved for weddings. Most of those cities are run by Socialist mayors. But Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice and a close Sarkozy ally, also has put his city on the list, indicating rising acceptance of PACS unions even among political conservatives.

That was not what conservative opponents of the measure foresaw in 1999. bwahahahahahaha!

okay, on a more serious note, i've long thought that everybody should have to be in a civil union if they want the legal advantages, and reserve "marriage" strictly for whatever religious advantages they may want/perceive. separation of church and state AND legal equality all in one swell foop.

Submitted by ohio on

If civil unions are a net social benefit, I can see why the state would want to encourage people to have them. But are they a net social benefit? If not, why is the state involved in the marriage business anyway?

Regardless, since the state is involved in the marriage business, adults should be able to enter into the contract as they see fit. One way to rest the state's complete refusal to acceot the contract the fab GF and I entered into as adults is that we are incompetent to enter into this contract.

Which implies we are incompetent to enter into any contract.

And evidence of our incompetence is the simple fact that after 24 years of being partners, we decided to enter into this contract.

Clearly we are insane.

As far as the taxes thing, it's hard not to argue that, compared to other issues, this is a minor inconvenience, not worth getting steamed up about. A mild stupidity. And yet it strikes at the heart of many issues that effect even bigot hetero people.

For example, is this just something special for the queers? Or is this just another step to see if people will protest this type of wealth extraction? This is a personal maneuver, make no mistake---it hits us in the wallet, certainly, but I think we're supposed to feel somewhat grateful that at least we're getting some kind of recognition, as if this was the first step in recognition of our marriage as marriage.

Like, "Yay! They're taking our money but at least they can see us now!" Except they don't see us at all.

And we're definitely supposed to feel alone in this. I mean, how many people are going to stand up to protest this? Why call attention to yourself, not only as being queer but about money?

If there's nary a peep in protest, does this embolden the administration to maneuver against the heteros? Rumors are swirling that the mortgage interest tax deduction is getting the ax. I know people whose households rely on this big fuck-off giveaway to the construction industry to break even. If not that deduction, which?

How will they extract from you all they can? Well, they know they can change the rules a month before the filing deadline to force you to pay more without you telling them to fuck right off. I mean, who wants to be audited? Who wants to fuck with the IRS?

I'm all over the place on this. I've got to get back to work and I have some home maintenance stuff to do---we disturbed a carpenter ant nest on Friday and ooooo, they're mad. And when they get mad, they get even, the little fuckers.