The DOMA Disparity: Transfer Taxation of Same-Sex Spouses in Community Property and Common Law States

Volume 26 No. 2


Timothy J. Vitollo is a lawyer with Gilbert & Bird, P.C., in Moneta, Virginia. He is a member of the RPTE Section’s Estate and Gift Tax Committee and the Non-Tax Issues Affecting the Planning and Administration of Trusts and Estates Committee.

Under the Defense of Marriage Act, federal laws providing benefits to “married” individuals or a “spouse” are to be strictly interpreted to not include same-sex unions, but even after DOMA, federal law—including federal law regarding transfer taxation—is applied with many questions of property ownership being determined at the state level.

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