Spouses can be more than life partners. Spouses can also be business partners, or have an employer-employee relationship. Spouses involved in business together must be mindful of the various tax considerations.
For more than a year now, marriage equality has been the law of the land. While some states had recognized same-sex marriages, the 2015 Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and recognized same-sex marriage rights across the United States. Along with marriage equality, same-sex couples have the right to make a number of important financial decisions.
Currently, partnerships are considered pass-through entities for taxation purposes. As a result, when a partnership is audited, the partners themselves are responsible for any unpaid tax liabilities, penalties and interest. However, with the rise of multi-tiered partnerships, the IRS found significant lack of compliance among partnerships. Furthermore, the IRS was auditing fewer partnerships relative to other types of business entities.
Every tax-exempt and nonprofit organization must place a high priority on complying with applicable federal and state tax laws. The IRS devotes substantial resources examining nonprofits to ensure tax compliance. The IRS recently released its Tax Exempt and Government Entities Work Plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. In this document, the IRS discussed its priorities for FY 2017.