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Same-Sex Marriage and Taxes

Steve Black

Texas Tech University School of Law


Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Vol. 22, pp. 327-357, 2008

Our tax system, while frequently criticized for its complexity, has the flexibility to encourage or influence behavior. It is used to try to influence people‘s spending habits to "jump-start" the economy or encourage businesses to buy more fixed assets. Tax law may even help to channel marital and family decisions. Frequently the proponents of same-sex marriage cite the difference in tax treatment as one of the reasons that same-sex couples receive discriminatory treatment. The tax code contains provisions that benefit only married individuals and families. These benefits provide hundreds to thousands of dollars in tax relief to individuals, but only if those individuals fall into prescribed categories. This article explores those categories, and the extent to which the preference for married couples with children furthers one of the goals of society, which is to perpetuate itself.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: tax, income tax, family, same-sex marriage, marriage, tax benefits

JEL Classification: H20, H22, H24, H2

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Date posted: November 17, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Black, Steve, Same-Sex Marriage and Taxes (2008). Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law, Vol. 22, pp. 327-357, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507846

Contact Information

Steve Black (Contact Author)
Texas Tech University School of Law ( email )
1802 Hartford
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States
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