The Truth About Taxes

A new bill could change the current tax policy for same-sex couples in Pennsylvania

Fifteen percent. That’s how much partners in same-sex relationships must pay in Pennsylvania on everything he or she inherits after a partner dies. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been together for one year or 50 – the tax is applied to all inheritance belonging to unmarried LGBT couples. And because Pennsylvania doesn’t allow same-sex couples to legally wed, this is a tax that is being applied to every couple, even those who make the preparations (and will) ensuring that their loved ones receive compensation.

“In Pennsylvania, when a married person dies, their spouse pays no state inheritance tax,” reports Equality Pennsylvania. “When a person in a same-sex relationship dies, the surviving partner has to pay 15 percent tax on all inherited assets, including some large ticket items – like half of the market value of their house. To say the least, this is a terrible financial burden. Couple this with newly doubled household expenses and emotional grief and you have a recipe for disaster. Remember, too, that this amounts to tens of thousands of dollars that opposite-sex married couples do not have to pay.”

But House Bill 1828 could amend the state’s current tax policy. The bill is an amendment to the Tax Reform Code of 1971 that allows Pennsylvania citizens who are in a relationship of mutual interdependence to pay the same inheritance tax on property that a married couple does (currently zero percent).

The same laws should apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples, right?

Here’s how it works – or should work: