Domestic Partnerships, one year later: Tax time!

A year after domestic partnerships became legal in Oregon, apparently only one in five same-sex couples are taking advantage of the extra paperwork.

The Oregonian article points to a couple of valid reasons. First, in principle, agreeing to a DP vs. a “real” marriage could be considered morally compromising.

Second, there are practical reasons, such as military members inability to be out, immigration issues or upped tax liability.

Of course, in a country where half of all marriages end in divorce, perhaps the gay community is just particularly cautious. It is also not news to me that female couples outnumber male ones. Be it nature or nurture, clearly it doesn’t take a study to deduce that men and women, gay or straight, view marriage and commitment differently.

Nevertheless, this interactive view of Oregon is a fairly interesting visual gauge of our homo-partnered state.

Steve McKinstry/The Oregonian

But back to that tax issue. It’s a sticky one for anybody, but our new state laws, so contradictory to federal ones, make it particularly difficult for Oregon’s partnered queers. Thankfully my return will be simplistically single but for all you out there brave or silly enough to take the plunge into pseudo-marriage Just Out has a handy “As If!” guide.

The “as if” comes from the conundrum of your federal taxes. In all likelihood you will need to make a fake, or “as if” federal return that simulates your couple-dom. (Does this sound as much like bizarro world to you as it does to me?) You may need to use information from this form, or the “real” form, depending on the section. To help determine which is which in this crazy mixed-up world you can either pay your accountant a little extra, or turn to the Oregon Department of Revenues DP help page.

Domestic partnerships may have made certain legalities cost less, but certainly haven’t done away with the extra time, effort and money LGBT people have to invest to obtain their rights.

Ever since my former partner had to pay extra taxes on my healthcare (pre-DPs) I’ve coined these extra expenses the “gay tax.” It is all the more appropriate now, at tax time.

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