How do I use a MERP when I'm not married? : FAQ/Blog/Solutions
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How do I use a MERP when I'm not married?

by Tom Luker on 05/01/15

We have consulted in a variety of situations like this, such as same-sex partners or others living together but not married, and thus are not on the same joint tax return.

  • If you are a solo operator, you can incorporate as a C-Corp or S-Corp, making yourself an EE. Incorporating has a more complicated record-keeping, so it's up to you and your tax/legal adviser if that's the route to take. Same answer if you have a few EEs.
  • We once did a seminar to a large Women Business Owner Association and the question was posed by a lady, “Do I have to be married to make this work?” I responded, “Yes.” She said “I'll be darned if I'm gonna get married again!” My response, “Then that's not the reason to get married!”
  • In cases where two persons are “life partners” [male-female or same-sex] and not married, the corporate track might be recommended. However, if each person owns a biz, filing a Schedule C or F, then they could hire each other, assuming legitimate employable services are provided.
  • Also, if you just have a good friend [not a life partner], you can hire each other as described above.
  • Currently, in many states same-sex marriage is legal, and the IRS along with the states allow the joint tax filing. Thus, a simple 1-EE MERP can be great. All regular MERP rules apply.

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