Society

New York to Refund Estate Taxes to Gay Couples

| by Emily Smith

Same-sex spouses in New York who were forced to pay high estate taxes upon the death of their partner will be refunded by the state as a result of the overruling of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Because of DOMA being declared unconstitutional, gay couples are now allowed the same lower tax costs under estate tax laws provided to couples in traditional marriages. Previously, same-sex couples in New York were required to pay thousands more in estate taxes.

The state has yet to release a refund amount.

Edie Windsor of New York was ecstatic when she heard the decision had been made, especially after she was denied a refund by the IRS for $360,000 in estate taxes that she had to pay after her spouse died in 2009.

"I am of course thrilled that I will be getting a refund of the estate tax that I never should have had to pay in the first place," Windsor said. “What makes me even happier, however, is the fact that no other gay person will ever again have to face the indignity of DOMA.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the action, which he pushed, is one more step toward justice for people like Windsor, who have faced mounting debt from estate taxes during an already sensitive time of personal lost.

According to the refund regulations, a claim must be filed within three years of the tax return or two years after the tax was overpaid.

Sources: The Huffington Post, Press Connects