1. What is New? Same sex marriages are considered the same as couples of opposite sex marriages for Federal tax purposes. On the other hand, other relationships that are not considered marriage under state law are not considered marriage for Federal tax purposes.
2. In most cases, tax is usually less if you file married filing joint tax than if you file married filing separate.
3. Combined income tax in separate returns could be less than in a joint return in some situations.
4. Establish community and separate income should you and your spouse file separate returns.
5. Domiciled state laws will administer whether you have community or separate income for federal tax purposes.
6. What factors are considered for domicile test determination: 1) length and location of residence; 2) locality where you vote; 3) place you pay state income tax; 4) location of property you own; 5) citizenship and connection in your community.
7. Married filing joint or married filing separate filing status may not be available for registered domestic partners. They are not married under state law and for federal tax purposes.
8. What you need to report if you are filing separate return from your spouse: 1) half of all community income and deductions; 2) all separate income, deductions and credits; 3) must itemize if other spouse itemizes otherwise standard deduction is zero; 3) should complete and attach Form 8958 to Form 1040 to identify separate and community income, deduction, credits.
9. The spouse who actually paid the personal deductions out of separate personal funds may claim the deduction.
10. Certain spouses and for nonresident aliens, community property laws may be disregarded if: 1) you choose not to treat nonresident alien spouse US resident for tax purposes; 2) income you received not known by other spouse; 3) lived apart for all year and have met all required conditions; 4) other separated spouses whose income earned after separation but before a divorce decree.
11. File Form 8857 to request for innocent spouse relief if you believe under payment in tax must be paid by your spouse.
Disclaimer: Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication is neither intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues, nor a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties.
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