Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Surprising Tax Preparation Tips

        Money | Taxes

7
For Richer or Poorer
What couple DOESN’T dream of the day they can file taxes together?  © omgimages/iStockphoto
What couple DOESN’T dream of the day they can file taxes together? © omgimages/iStockphoto

Congratulations, same-sex couples! Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling in 2013, couples who have entered into a valid same-sex marriage must now file federal tax returns using either "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately" status. The ruling applies to couples who were married in a state that legally recognizes same-sex marriage, even if the couple lives in a state that does not [source: IRS Treasury].

Married same-sex couples will also be treated as legally married regarding other tax provisions such as estate and gift taxes. In addition, if you are part of a same-sex married couple, you may be able to amend previous years' tax returns to take advantage of this filing status. It might just result in a refund for you. As you're filing, keep a couple of things in mind. This ruling has nothing to do with state taxes, so if you live in a state that does not recognize your marriage, you will still have to file your state tax returns individually, and the ruling does not apply to domestic partnerships or civil unions.


More to Explore