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2008

Taxation-Federal

Washington and Lee University School of Law

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The Unintended Tax Advantages Of Gay Marriage, Theodore P. Seto Sep 2008

The Unintended Tax Advantages Of Gay Marriage, Theodore P. Seto

Washington and Lee Law Review

The Internal Revenue Code (the Code) contains numerous special rules applicable to the income taxation of persons related by marriage, birth, adoption, or ownership. This Article suggests a new approach to their analysis. Many basic tax rules assume that taxpayers are self-interested and unaffiliated. Where this assumption is incorrect, the Code makes adjustments to its otherwise applicable rules. Most of the resulting related-party antiavoidance rules apply only in the context of specified formal relationships-marriage, parent/child, or owner/business. The Article tests this thesis by comparing the income tax treatment of heterosexual married couples with that of gay couples in ...