Saturday, December 16, 2006


* JLP reports some interesting information on what the IRS considers to be “other” taxable income in his posting “IRS: WE DON’T CARE HOW YOU GET IT. JUST BE SURE AND REPORT IT!" at his blog All Financial Matters.

* SHOE by Chriss Cassatt and Gary Brookins is one of the few newspaper comic strips I still read and enjoy. Did you see Friday’s strip? Shoe is attending a press conference given by Senator Belfry. The Senator announces,, “There’s a new sense of ethics in Congress these days so I just want to reaffirm that I can’t be bought! However, I am available for an occasional rental.”

* I was saddened by the passing of veteran character actor Peter Boyle this past week. The current generation remembers him as Frank, father of Ray and Robert, on tv’s EVERYONE LOVES RAYMENT. Older fans remember his performance as “the Monster” in Mel Brooks’ YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, singing a duet of “Putting On The Ritz” with Gene Wilder.

I will always remember Mr. Boyle as the much less sympathetic forerunner to Archie Bunker (“Forty-two percent of all liberals are queer, that's a fact. The Wallace people did a poll”) in the 1970 independent cult classic JOE, directed by John G Avildsen of CRY UNCLE and ROCKY fame. Boyle played blue-collar Joe, who helps an upscale father, played by prolific television guest-star Patrick Dennis, search for his runaway junkie daughter, played by Susan Sarandon in her film debut (the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was 1975).

* This past Thursday the New Jersey legislature, prompted by the state’s Supreme Court, passed a bill permitting gay “civil unions” with all the legal rights and responsibilities of marriage although not the actual title. NJ joins Connecticut and Vermont as the third state to do so. Massachusetts is the only state to permit same-sex marriages. California has a very strong “domestic partner” law.

This brings up an interesting question. Will same-sex participants in a “civil union” be able to file as “Married Filing Joint” on the NJ-1040? Or will the fact that they are not technically “married” preclude this status? I have not done a Massachusetts state income tax return since before same-sex marriages were allowed, so I don’t know how it is treated there. Perhaps someone out there can tell me. As for NJ – we will have to wait and see.

Irregardless of how New Jersey, or Massachusetts, treats the issue on the state tax return, same-sex partners will not be able to file as Married Filing Joint or Separate on the 1040 (or 1040A). Congress “just said no” to the idea of same-sex marriage by passing a federal law during the Clinton years that limits the definition of marriage for federal purposes to the union of one man and one woman.

While voting on same-sex unions, the NJ legislature failed to act on much-needed property tax reform.


1 comment:

starevelina said...

In Massachusetts, state tax forms are based on answers from one's federal 1040, so same-sex married couples here are directed on our state return's instructions to go back to our federal 1040 and re-do it as married in order to complete the Mass forms. So, my wife and I do our federal forms once as "single" because of federal discrimination, and then we do it again as married so that we can get the appropriate numbers for our state return. Our straight friends can add one to all those federal marriage rights- not having to do their taxes twice! Happy new tax season! -Kate-