Same-Sex Marriage and Your State Tax Return

October 18, 2014 : Alison Flores

Early in October, the Supreme Court denied review of same-sex marriage appeals from three different federal appeals courts: the Tenth Circuit, the Fourth Circuit and the Seventh Circuit.

What does that mean? Since the Supreme Court has declined to decide the matters, the decisions of each of the lower courts will stand. That means the states where same-sex marriages were stopped pending an appeal to the Supreme Court should now allow same-sex marriages.

It also means that states within those federal circuit court jurisdictions that do not allow same-sex marriages will have to follow the rules set forth in the federal circuit court ruling. So same-sex marriage should now be recognized in more states. However, in some states (including Kansas and South Carolina), it may require some additional legal and governmental processes before same-sex marriages are recognized. Another case from the Ninth Circuit requires same-sex marriages to be recognized in Idaho; additional process may be necessary before same-sex marriage is recognized in Montana.

The bottom line is that it is still a bit confusing for same-sex couples when it comes to filing a state tax return. That’s why we have updated our map after this recent news to reflect the states where same-sex couples should file as married filing jointly or married filing separately.

Still have questions? Come talk with one of our tax professionals who can help consult on your specific situation.

Click to view larger image. Map updated November 25, 2014.


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Alison Flores

Alison Flores

The Tax Institute, H&R Block

Alison Flores, JD, is a principal tax research analyst at The Tax Institute. Alison specializes in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage, tax preparer regulation, and individual income tax issues.