Illinois same-sex couples may have to file separately

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Family Law on Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

Illinois residents may have heard that while the IRS has stated that it will allow same-sex couples to file joint federal tax returns, in early October, some states moved to disrupt such trends at lower levels. In places like Kansas and North Dakota, officials have written letters and made declarations that same-sex couples will have to file single rather than joint state tax returns.

Reports did not say how these new rule-making attempts might play into proceedings like high-asset divorces where past tax documents could be used to determine support agreements. Analysts from some of the states that have moved against the new federal standard on their own believe that these states may face legal actions.

Reports said that it was possible the new Kansas Department of Revenue’s tax procedures could even violate state laws that currently allow married couples to use their federal returns as guidelines when they file their state taxes. A spokesperson from the KDR and a Kansas state representative countered by pointing out that their state constitution actually prohibits same-sex marriages. It remains to be seen whether states like Illinois, which enacted a ban on same-sex marriage as recently as 1996, will follow Kansas’ example by changing their tax codes.

Transitions in marriage laws and tax filing rules can make things difficult for couples who decide to change their living arrangements or modify their relationships down the line. Lack of precedent and unwillingness to aid couples at a state level may impede parents or families who separate, making it harder for them to secure their lifestyles and provide for their loved ones. Family law attorneys who remain abreast of shifting tax laws may be able to help these couples fight for their federally conferred rights or work through divorces or other family law issues.

Source: Huffington Post, “Some States Asking Same-Sex Married Couples To File As Singles“, John Celock, October 09, 2013