This just in from the New York Times: even older couples are deferring marriage ( In fact, it’s even more complex. Just as the young are beginning to see marriage as the culmination of their relationship, and many gay couples are eager to get married, the old may be turning away from marriage… Why?

Why? Taxes that’s why.

In the rush of emotions of marriage – gay, straight or otherwise – people often to forget that marriage is a financial arrangement, a financial contract between two people and really between those two people and the government. Our governments give out many benefits to married couples (such as various tax deductions and legal rights), but there are also penalties to being married. Your taxes might go up, down, or sideways if you get married.

Marriage in San Francisco and TaxesEspecially for older couples, this is something to think about. We have had quite a few inquiries from older gay and heterosexual couples here in San Francisco about the tax planning issues involved in marriage. If you are passed the ages of thirty or forty, you may have substantial income and assets, or even a business or two. Getting married may have many, many convoluted tax implications.

Consult with a tax professional if you are considering getting married. You, your potential partners, and a tax professional can help you go “open eyed” into the marriage relationship. Then, taxes behind you, you can worry about having a wonderful marriage with a wonderful partner.