Sunday, June 4, 2017
RUCKSAPOL JIWUNGKUL, ETC. VS. DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF TAXATION A-4089-15T2
RUCKSAPOL JIWUNGKUL, ETC. VS. DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF
The surviving partner of a domestic partnership, N.J.S.A. 26:8A-2(d) (DPA), filed New Jersey tax returns on behalf of his partner's estate that were consistent with their status as domestic partners. He claimed the spousal exemption allowed for domestic partners under the New Jersey Inheritance Tax, N.J.S.A. 54:34-2(a)(1), and, because no spousal deduction was permitted for domestic partners under the New Jersey Estate Tax, N.J.S.A. 54:38-1 to -16, he did not claim such a deduction. He later filed an amended estate tax return in which he claimed a marital deduction under the Estate Tax. This deduction was authorized to members of a civil union, N.J.S.A. 37:1-32(n); N.J.A.C. 18:26-3A.8(e), a formal relationship plaintiff and his partner had declined to enter, but was not authorized under the DPA.
In his appeal from the Tax Court's decision affirming the denial of the marital deduction, plaintiff argues the DPA violates the equal protection guarantee of the New Jersey Constitution, Art. I, Para. 1, and there is no rational basis for the marital deduction to be different under the New Jersey Inheritance Tax Law and the New Jersey Estate Law. We affirm, substantially for the reasons set forth in the cogent and comprehensive written opinion of Judge Patrick DeAlmeida, P.J.T.C., Jiwungkul, as Executor of the Estate of Michael R. Connolly, Jr. v. Director, Division of Taxation, Docket No. 009346-2015 (May 11, 2016).
05/30/17 KATHLEEN LEGGETTE VS.