Gay and lesbian couples have even more to think about when filing taxes. How do we split the mortgage interest and taxes, who claims the kids, what about charity and a whole slew of other issues? It is very important for couples to have a tax preparer who knows the extent of the tax code and how to use it.

For example, did you know that the tax code changed last year relating to children? Before, either parent on the birth certificate or adoption decree could claim the child, thus allowing the child to be on whichever return created the best tax benefit. Now, the person with the higher income must claim the child.

What does this mean to your family? It potentially gets rid of child tax credits and earned income credits for the lower income earning partner and potentially increases the combined tax liability (i.e.- you get less refund if you otherwise would have received one).

Finance: We can’t get married, so how do we handle our taxes?

From week to week I will explore various financial issues for our community. If there is a particular topic you would like discussed, please email me at


Mercedes M Pasqualetti is a General Manager with HLM Financial Group and can be reached at