Category: civil unions

Hawaii Leg. Clarifies Civil Unions Recognized As Marriages Under Hawaii’s Estate Tax

Although civil unions were likely already recognized as marriages for Hawaii tax law purposes (see Haw. AG Op. 11-2), Act 60 (2013) makes it clear that such unions should be recognized as marriages under Hawaii’s new estate tax law under Chapter 236E, HRS.  The relevant portion of Section 5 of Act 60 amends Section 236E-7, HRS, as follows (changes underlined):

Amounts set forth on a duly filed and accepted federal return for valuations of property, the gross estate, federal taxable estate, and applicable exclusion amount shall be conclusive for purposes of this chapter, and the return required under this chapter shall use the same amounts as the corresponding amounts on the federal return[.]; provided that with regard to a decedent who was in a valid civil union or recognized equivalent under the laws of the State, but that is not recognized by the Internal Revenue Code as a marriage for federal tax purposes, computations of the valuations of property, the gross estate, federal taxable estate, and applicable exclusion amount shall be made as if the civil union or recognized equivalent under the laws of the State were recognized as a marriage.