Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Illinois to allow same sex couples to file joint tax returns
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Illinois to allow same sex couples to file joint tax returns

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011

* This is an interesting development

Starting in January, Illinois will allow couples who obtained civil-union licenses this year to file joint state income tax returns, a symbolic change that likely won’t save couples money but that one gay-rights group called an important step.

Monday’s announcement comes after Illinois became the seventh state, along with the District of Columbia, to give same-sex couples significant legal protections. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state’s civil union law in January.

That bill included the right to decide medical care for an ailing partner and the right to inherit property, but it didn’t include the ability for same-sex couples to file a joint tax return.

While federal law does not allow same-sex couples to submit taxes together, Quinn pushed for the state to make the change after signing the civil union bill, Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Susan Hofer said Monday.

* Equality Illinois has been pushing for this ever since the civil unions law took effect. From a press release

“Since the beginning of June when same-sex couples first started entering into civil unions, no one could speak with certainty about how this new status would affect state tax policy,” Randy Hannig, Director of Public Policy for Equality Illinois, said. “We immediately reached out to the Illinois Department of Revenue and started the process of figuring out a solid solution to this problem. Illinois law specifies that couples in a civil union are afforded the same rights and benefits as married spouses, so why should same-sex couples’ state tax status be any different?”

Under the new guidelines issued by the Department of Revenue, same-sex couples in a civil union may elect to file state taxes as “married, filed jointly” or “married, filed separately” – the same options opposite-sex married couples may choose. If applicable, couples would check a box for “same-sex civil union return.” In order to determine the adjusted gross income to include on state filings, couples will have to complete a pro forma federal IRS return.

* From Illinois Issues’ blog

Those in civil unions would still have to file separate federal returns as single because the federal government does not recognize their partnerships. Couples who do not wish to file a joint return would still file as married but would be able to file separate state returns.

Hofer said joint filing for state taxes will not result in large tax benefits for couples — the substantial benefit comes at the federal level for couples with disparate incomes. If one person has a much smaller income, it can move the household into a lower tax bracket than the individual was in. “In Illinois because we are a flat tax state, you really aren’t going to see any significant change to your taxes. … With the state, everybody pays a 5 percent flat tax. But there will be some benefits.” She said that exemptions such as for property taxes or education expenses, could be applied a couple’s total income instead of just an individual’s earnings.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:24 am:

    Filing joint returns — one of the great joys of wedded bliss.

    The honeymoon’s over, I guess, lol.

    Seriously, nice job by Quinn to push it through the system. It’s called progress.


  2. - Ahoy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:49 am:

    Federal action should be taken to give gay couples the same right..Actually, we should just allow gay couples to marry.


  3. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:50 am:

    The Genie is out of the bottle,letting people with civil unions file tax returns is fair. Now they join the rest of us married folks. Not a bad idea, Quinn finally got it right. It’s time to turn the page and get our States finances in order.


  4. - GoldCoastConservative - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 9:52 am:

    A long overdue but very positive step.


  5. - Way Way Down Here - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:03 am:

    Good. . .it’s about time. . .now can we get serious about our fiscal calamity?


  6. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:07 am:

    OMG My marriage is falling apart, and it’s all THEIR fault.

    Only kidding. Glad for this improvement.


  7. - amalia - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 10:59 am:

    great move by quinn. equality is equality.


  8. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 11:22 am:

    For once, doing the right thing for the right reason. Wish that kind of thinking could spread to other issues we’re dealing with.


  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    I am half of a couple that has been having the same sex for several years (and it has been wonderful). So now I get to file a joint tax return if she agrees. Cool.


  10. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Tuesday, Nov 29, 11 @ 3:48 pm:

    In the interest of equality, that’s nice. From a State income tax perspective, it won’t make much difference, if any. In terms of dealing with the State’s problems, no effect …


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Question of the day
* Job gains flatten in third quarter
* Musical interlude: Mercedes Marxist
* Credit Unions: A Unique Concept for Financial Services
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Rumor patrol
* Because... Madigan!
* War of words intensifies between Ives and McCann
* *** UPDATED x1 - Bodyman responds *** Rauner's "one-day bodyman" resurfaces
* Two more big holes blown in discrimination lawsuit against Pritzker
* Pritzker campaign claims lawsuit doesn't get its facts right
* Republicans demand Madigan speak out, while lead plaintiff tells his story
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller