Same-sex couples, who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages, such as California, and even if they live in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, can file their federal tax returns just like any other legally married couple.
State tax treatment will vary by state. California will recognize same-sex marriages for tax purposes. It will also recognize domestic partnerships for state-tax purposes; however, the IRS will not recognize them for federal tax purposes.
The New York Times offers another great overview for how the IRS will treat same-sex couples. Read the article here.
Consider this advice before walking down the aisle:
- Have an honest conversation with your partner about your finances, including your tax situation. Marriage for all couples is a contract.
- Consult a tax professional. A tax professional will help you navigate the constantly changing tax laws. A tax professional will also be able to tell you war your potential tax liability will be as a couple and whether it is advisable to file jointly or separately.
- Consult a financial planner. A financial planner can help you address financial mistakes of the past, such as large tax bills. He or she can also help you plan for future financial success. Make sure you start the rest of your life together on the right foot.
- Consider a pre-nuptial agreement. Particularly if one partner owes back taxes or has separate property with significant tax liability, a pre-nuptial agreement can help protect the non-debtor spouse from exposure to this tax liability after marriage.
This blog post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute tax advice and should not take the place of consulting with a tax professional. The Law Office of Sean C. Sobottka does not provide tax advice.
For a free consultation regarding premarital agreements, issues to consider before marriage, or any family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Sean C. Sobottka: 310.735.9814 or firstname.lastname@example.org.