Martha Lufkin reports in the Art Newspaper that a decision by the US Supreme Court will bring significant tax benefits to art collectors, artists and art dealers who are in same-sex marriages. In a ruling on 26 June, the court said that the US Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined “marriage” as a legal union between a man and woman only, was unconstitutional.
In the lawsuit, widow Edith Windsor had argued that she should be allowed the federal estate tax exemption for all assets passing to a surviving spouse on death. New York law recognised her same-sex marriage, but under DOMA, federal law did not. Federal authorities denied the spousal estate tax benefit, imposing a tax of $363,053.
But the supreme court said that DOMA unconstitutionally “impose[d] a disadvantage” on those entering into same-sex marriages, which had been made lawful by the states that allow them. It struck down the provision.
The court also let stand a lower court decision which struck down a prohibition in the California constitution against same-sex marriages. As a result, same-sex marriage is now legal in California, 12 other US states and Washington, DC.
“For art collectors, artists, and families of artists, this is big news if you are gay and want to marry,” John Silberman, a New York art lawyer, told The Art Newspaper. A key tax benefit for art owners in a same-sex marriage is that there will now be no federal estate tax due on the value of art passing to a spouse.
For the full story check out the Art Newspaper: http://www.theartnewspaper.com