Tax Preparers for Same-Sex Parents

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Tax preparer for Same-Sex Married, new Homeowners

March 2013

We are a same-sex married couple with kids who bought our first home in 2012, borrowing from a retirement fund. We have always handled our own tax preparation, but are concerned that there are too many variables for us this year. Any recommendations for a tax preparer? jm

I highly recommend Charles Frisbie at Couch and Associates (6500 Fairmount Ave, El Cerrito; (510) 558-8060). He is *very* knowledgeable about issues pertaining to same-sex married couples and the tax implications. Married in CA
I just did my taxes last night with Ryan van Valer. He's great! Ryan Van Valer; 510-647-9583; ryan.van.valer [at] sirpa

Accountant who understands new dom. partnership rules

May 2011

We usually use Turbo Tax, but we decided to get an extension with the new tax laws concerning domestic partners. I know not all accts. know about these new rules since they were introduced very recently. Does anybody have an acct. who is up to speed about all this? Thanks.

Yes, you can go to: Beall & Weil Tax Service 1329 Solano Ave (between Pomona Ave & Ramona Ave) Albany, CA 94706 (510) 524-4820

I went into see them in early April of this year for the same reason you did. The turbotax screen popped up about a new law and I decided to avoid the headache and have a professional take care of it for once. I went to Beall & Weil Tax Service and they got myself and my domestic partner taken care of straight away and were very aware of the new tax rules for domestic partners.

Basically, the federal govt now acknowledges states where civil unions/domestic partnerships with community property laws exist. This means, if you make $100K but your partner doesn't work, on the federal return you claim $50K and your partner claims the other $50K. Or, if you make $70 and your partner makes $50 this becomes a combined income so you now claim $60K and your partner claims the other $60K. If you have a child you can also claim head of household, etc. Unless you're both making a lot of money this seems to be beneficial because it can bring you down to a lower tax bracket and receive a higher refund.

This meant for us that we had a decent return for the first time ever.

Also, the tax rule is retroactive. So, if it's to your benefit, you can take in your returns from previous years and have them amended to up to 3 years prior. I did this and got an amazing amount of money back. I'm extremely happy with the service I was given at Beall & Weil Tax Service. HappyTaxCustomer

In addition to the names most recently added to the BPN website, we received these names in response to our similar question last January:

Susan Levinkind, J.D. - Tax Preparer 8008 Winthrope Street, Oakland, CA 94605 Phone: 510-383-9858 E-mail: taxmomsusan [at] Specializing in self-employed folks and others around the country for 20 years. Will help any woman feel more knowledgeable and secure in her tax situation - and Susan prepares your returns too - so don't worry!

Jan Zobel EA, Tax Services Knowledgeable, accurate, reliable year-round tax preparation and consultations since 1978. Jan specializes in working with self-employed people (including independent contractors) and with rental property owners. However, she prepares all types of individual (no corporations, estates, etc.) returns. She also provides tax consultations. Common consults are with newly self-employed people who want to know about deductions, domestic partners who have just bought a house or had a child and are unsure of how to divide deductions, and people who have prepared their own return and want someone to look it over. ......................
[Sept 2014 Editor Note: Jan Zobel is no longer accepting new clients] Good luck!

We had our taxes done by Eleanor Power, of Tax Services Plus. She was recommended by another accountant who is not taking new clients. Our tax situation was complicated (to me, nightmarish) due to inheritance, estate taxes, being a married-in-California same sex couple, etc. Eleanor worked really hard on our behalf, researching the State's new rules and figuring what applies to our family. I recommend her enthusiastically. Her office is on the border of the El Cerrito Plaza; 525-9987 A. M.

Need someone familiar with the new tax laws

Jan 2011

Our tax preparer has retired, and we need someone new who is very familiar with the new tax laws for LGBT families. Any great tax professionals out there who would be up on this stuff?

Hello, I can highly recommend Ann Valliant of Business Savvy Bookkeeping in Emeryville. Ann is a warm, savvy, and clear tax and bookkeeping person who is also a balanced advocate for LGBT issues in the community. She is great! You can reach her at: 510-547-8521 If you call her please say to her from Bill Say. Warmly, Bill
I highly recommend Carol Robison. She has an office in Oakland on Grand Avenue. Very thorough and up to date on domestic partnership and the complicated double filings that we must now do. Carol Robison, EA Tel: 510-465-1200 Fax: 510-891-1533 Terri
KeAloha Couch, Couch & Associates in El Cerrito (there's an office in Martinez, too) is well versed in the intricacies of same sex/domestic partnership tax laws and have always done a thoroughly fantastic job explaining it as well. Call her at (510) 558-8060. Angela

Tax prep person knowledgeable about domestic partnerships

Oct 2010

Can anyone suggest a tax prep person that is knowledgeable and savvy about domestic partnerships as well as getting the most out of all the regular stuff as well - mortgage, home office, childcare, etc... Berkeley or Oakland would be idea, but we're willing to travel SF, Marin, through tunnel anon

You can't go wrong with Couch & Associates in El Cerrito. KeAloha Couch has worked with many, many same sex couples on their taxes. Tell her I sent you! 510.558.8060 -Happy Client. angela
I highly recommend Mario Kashou of Farallon Law Group. Contact: mkashou [at] He is a former colleague of mine and his firm specializes in domestic partnership issues. amy
I highly recommend Allison. She's not only a great CPA but a really nice person. She has made it her top priority to keep up with all the changes related to same sex marriage. I'm sure she can help you. Plus she's affordable. Rachel

New to the area, looking for tax/financial advisor

March 2006

Hello, My same-sex domestic partner and I are new to the area and are looking for a tax or financial advisor. We want someone who's familiar with the money issues around domestic partnerships, who's friendly, who's relatively affordable, and who's accessible to us in the East Bay. (We hope that's not too much to ask!) We've seen previous recommendations for financial advisors in the BPN archives, but they don't seem to directly address the domestic partnership issue, which is the biggest one for us right now. Thanks in advance for any recommendations you can give! Karen

Hi there- we have just started using a cpa- her name is ellen abel. she is in the city but we have found her to be very helpful both via email andd phone calls- she is familiar with the domestic partnership world and has been helpful with us regarding our new baby, the house situation, and a new business venture. I would recommend her without hesitation. Her website is Good luck- deirdre
Lois Leynse, EA at the Financial Fitness Center. Located on 27th in Oakland. 510 -653-1914. She's done our taxes and helped with other financial matters for 20 years. She and her very wonderful associates are experienced with financial and tax issues with same-sex couples, small business, artists. I've sent many people their over the years with no complaints. Good luck. Laura
I recommend Ann Valliant. She is a Business Operations Consultant, and she is particularly knowledgeable about domestic partnership issues. Her number is 510-848-1516 or e-mail, ann[at]
Jan Zobel is an amazing tax person who is extermely knowledgeable in same sex/ domestic partner issues. The problem is, she's VERY popular, very busy, and at this point will probably not take you on for this year. Maybe if you're willing to file for an extension 'till August, or maybe only for next year... Good luck! Naama
[Sept 2014 Editor Note: Jan Zobel is no longer accepting new clients]
Although this recommendation may come a little late for tax time (unless you have filed an extension, of course), I highly recommend my accountant, Maria U. Ku, CPA. She is extremely thorough and knowlegeable about all sorts of tax preparation issues for small businesses, home businesses, as well as issues re: your domestic status (single, married, domestic partnerships, etc). Her phone is 510-531-6614. Email: maria.ku[at] Website: If you have any questions re: her service, feel free to email me. Kira

GLBT-friendly tax preparer for filing individual returns

Jan 2006

My partner and I and our daughter recently relocated to the East Bay from the East Coast. Can anyone recommend a great, GLBT-friendly tax preparer who is knowledgeable about how to file individual returns in a way that makes most sense for an unmarried couple? Our situation isn't too complicated, but we did buy and sell a house and one of us is self-employed. Thanks. Kelli

Christine Harkinson at 510-482-9729. I'm gay, she is not but I and all my present and ex girlfriends use her. She is reasonable, spends a lot of time talking to you without charge and is located in Oakland. LW