In a Daily Tax Report post, Leslie A. Pappas summarizes a recent New Jersey case in which a man was denied more than $100,000 in estate tax deductions because his partner of 31 years was neither married to nor in a civil union with him. The New Jersey Tax Court Judge argued,

“Although the plaintiff and decedent were eligible to enter into either a civil union or a marriage as of the date of the decedent’s death, they did neither,” DeAlmeida wrote, adding that New Jersey’s statute on domestic partnership is “unequivocal” in providing exemptions only for personal income and inheritance taxes—not the estate tax. “This court must apply the DPA as it is written, not as this court thinks it ought to be written, or as plaintiff would prefer it to be written.”

Jiwungkul, as executor of his partner’s estate, initially filed a return without considering the marital deduction and paid the tax, according to the opinion. Later he filed an amended return, requesting a refund of $101,041 in New Jersey estate tax. On May 14, 2015, the Division of Taxation denied the refund request, and Jiwungkul filed a complaint.

Click here for the full post and story: Same-Sex Partner Not Spouse for New Jersey Estate Tax Break

Posted by Allison Trupp, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal