With the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, couples in South Dakota, North Dakota and other states will have the same legal and financial opportunities available to other married couples. In terms of taxes and Social Security, the benefits are significant. Same-sex couples will be able to:
• Make unlimited gifts to one other without having to worry about gift taxes.
• Leave property to one another without the survivor needing to pay estate taxes.
• Leave an individual retirement account to the surviving spouse as a “rollover” IRA, which is treated much more favorably for tax purposes than an “inherited” IRA.
• Qualify as a surviving spouse for Social Security benefits. At the state level, benefits vary. South Dakota doesn’t have a state income tax, but in states that do, same-sex couples will be able to file joint tax returns. In addition, laws regarding guardianship, hospital visitation, inheritance and divorce will give the couples alternatives not available to them in the past. For additional tax and financial questions please call the CPAs at Ketel Thorstenson, LLP, in Rapid City, Custer, Williston or Spearfish.
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