Angelina Co. insurance expert: Joint tax returns can help or hurt same-sex couples

Angelina Co. insurance expert: Joint tax returns can help or hurt same-sex couples
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in support of President Obama's Affordable Care Act followed by the legalization of same-sex marriages across the U.S. late last week will both call for a few adjustments. Both rulings affect Texas residents and an Angelina County insurance expert who told us how.

Up until the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling, same-sex couples right here in Texas were not eligible to file joint federal tax returns. John Wynn, who specializes in life and health insurance, said the couples now have tax equality.

"They will now be able to file their taxes together. They will now be coming under the same guidelines of the Affordable care Act with their incomes," Wynn said.

Last week, the Affordable Care Act subsidies were also upheld, saving 6.4 million Americans from becoming uninsured and over 800,000 Texans from losing subsidies that assist them with healthcare premiums.

"A subsidy is what the federal government pays towards a health insurance premium," Wynn said.

In the aftermath of these crucial Supreme Court decisions, comes questions about how these rulings will impact same-sex couples in Texas, who now can file taxes together, as any heterosexual couple would.

"That is based on how many are on the tax return and the total household income," Wynn said.

This information was filed separately until last week.

"It could help them get a subsidy, or it could help them lose one because they are joining their incomes," Wynn said.

For example, "You have two people now considered married. One makes $50,000, and the other is a homemaker. When you put the two together, that qualifies for a subsidy," said Wynn.

For others, the change will be different.

"Another example would be you have one making $25,000 and getting a subsidy. They are then married and they file $125,000. Now, one person just lost the subsidy," Wynn said.

Wynn said since some couples will be knocked up to higher tax brackets and some into lower.

"It could go either way," Wynn said.

All newlyweds now have tax equality.

According to the tax foundation, the state of Texas has no income tax, so the issue of treating same-sex couples as married for state income tax purposes does not come to pass.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.