Can Same Sex Couples File Joint Federal Tax Returns?
Many same sex couples wonder how their marital status will affect federal taxes. Although same sex marriage laws are different in every state, and the federal government itself does not recognize same sex marriage, the Internal Revenue Service looks to state or foreign law to determine whether or not individuals may file as a married couple.
If you married your same sex spouse in a state such as New York – a state that recognizes same sex marriage – the federal government will treat your federal income tax return as married. This generally holds true even if you live in a state that does not recognize same sex marriage.
If You’re Considering Same Sex Marriage
If you plan to marry your same sex partner, but have concerns about the treatment of your assets from a tax perspective, the tax accountants at 212 Tax can provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision. This holds true for more than same sex marriage – many important life decisions have unintended tax consequences. Purchasing a home, investing for retirement, opening a business, and paying costly medical expenses all affect your income taxes.
With all of the recent changes in interpretation of tax law as it related to same-sex marriage, there are many conflicting sources of information that could potentially lead taxpayers astray. Rather than acting on outdated or misinterpreted information, it is often wise to consult a tax expert to ensure that your unique situation is handled in a way that is most beneficial to your financial and tax goals.
For example, if you’re in a registered domestic partnership or civil union, you and your partner do not qualify to file as married under current federal law. That is because under the most recent Supreme Court ruling, domestic partnerships and civil unions – even if they are legally registered – do not qualify for married tax status.
If you’re in a registered domestic partnership or civil union and would like married tax status, you and your partner must marry in a state where same sex marriage is legal, such as New York. Once you marry, it does not matter if you reside in New York State for federal tax purposes.
Amending Prior Year Returns
Many same sex married couples find they are entitled to significant tax refunds for the years they were forced to file as single payers. At 212 Tax, our tax accountants have experience preparing new and amended prior year returns. We can analyze your tax situation, and prepare and submit returns on your behalf. We can also file original returns if one or both of you have not filed for those years.
Schedule a Consultation
The tax accountants at 212 Tax have the local experience you need to recover the tax funds you and your spouse are entitled to. Schedule a consultation with 212 Tax for more information today.