Recently DOMA was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court making way for the Internal Revenue Service to enact regulations to federal tax laws for legally married couples. Depending on the cumulative range of taxable income of the taxpayer and spouse, it may be beneficial to amend your taxes as married filing joint for a refund. You have the option to amend tax returns up to 3 years prior.
Regardless of prior filing status, legally married couples must file their return as either married filing jointly or married filing separately starting with their 2013 tax return. For the state of Louisiana, at this time, and any other state that does not recognize the union, there will be separate calculations for state versus federal. Please be sure the tax professional you use has the expertise to process these returns.
To determine if you should amend your 2009 (if extensions filed and must be amended by Oct 15, 2013), 2010, 2011 or 2012 federal tax return, add line 43 together on each tax year of you and your spouse’s single tax return. If this total taxable income is $40,000 or more you should find benefit in amending your returns. This benefit will cover the fees to amend the returns plus around a $500 additional benefit each year. Please note as CPA’s we charge a flat rate fee, not a percentage of refund.
The above estimate comes from basic calculations and can vary due to individual circumstances. Under certain circumstances there is the possibility that amending your return will not be beneficial even if your taxable income is $40,000 or more and a possibility that having under $40,000 will yield you more than the above benefit. We will be happy to look at each return on a case by case basis to determine the benefit.
Please note, you will not be charged a fee, if upon meeting with us, it is determined that it would not be beneficial to amend your tax returns. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment call our office at (225) 243‐4980.
Shelby Carnahan Andrews, CPA
110 LaSalle Street
P. O. Box 1361
Denham Springs, LA 70727