When I was growing up in the 70s, there was a Sunday morning children’s program called “Wonderama.” Its closing theme song was “Kids are People, Too.” I’m proud to work for a firm that views and treats members of the LGBTQ community the same way…as people, like everyone else.
Before the fall of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2013, from a tax perspective, members of the LGBTQ community had many reasons to feel left out of main stream America. The federal government (and most states) did not recognize their marriages or in many instances, even allow them to marry. If a same-sex couple was married, they could not file taxes as a married couple. They had to employ the help of professionals to assist with their tax filings, which required strategic planning to mitigate tax liabilities (e.g., who could and should claim their children as dependents or take deductions for co-owned property). The ability to file jointly was just one of many rights denied married same-sex couples under DOMA.
Prior to DOMA’s fall, The Tax Warriors® at Drucker & Scaccetti developed an LGBTQ-focused practice group dedicated to helping modern families optimize their finances. Our firm was one of the first visible allies in the Philadelphia region focusing on the needs of the LGBTQ community and modern families. Our team has presented multiple national seminars to hundreds of practitioners to ensure LGBTQ identified individuals, families and businesses have access to knowledgeable professionals. We had, and continue to have, the two most important tools necessary to successfully advise modern families: LGBTQ cultural competency and technical tax expertise.
As we became more immersed in our clients’ financial worlds, we also became closer to them, personally (as we do with all our clients). We directed firm resources into supporting organizations like the Independence Business Alliance, William Way and the Mazzoni Center. And when the two Supreme Court Cases (Windsor & Obergefell) mandated all states and the federal government recognize same-sex marriages, we were there to celebrate beside our clients and friends.
(L-R) Eric Elmore, Tiffany Diaz, Chris Catarino, Roz Sutch, and Keisha Price celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Greater Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Independence Business Alliance, in May 2017.
Today, we continue to visibly support the LGBTQ community and the organizations dedicated to diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ families and businesses.
There are several Tax Warriors who identify in the community and our firm culture allows them to show up to work each day as their authentic selves. We take pride in our history as visible allies of the LGBTQ community and our expertise in understanding their sometimes-unique challenges. But we also recognize that LGBTQ-identified individuals have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else—to be treated fairly and equally; to be included and not excluded; to marry, if they choose, enjoy their families and have the same opportunities as others to grow and improve their lives and the lives of others around them.