Same-Sex couples could be forced to file additional tax returns - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Same-Sex couples could be forced to file additional tax returns

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The pictures of Joe Openshaw and his husband Bobby Prince show a happy couple after the two were married.  The couple had two ceremonies.  One in Alabama and another in Washington, D.C. where their union is legal. 

Now, months after their ceremony, they're faced with a new challenge of filing their taxes in a state that doesn't recognize their marriage. 

"We're are required by the federal government or by the IRS to file as a married couple either filing married jointly or filing married singly but still its a requirement that you file married," said Openshaw.  "By the state government, we're required to file as a single person because our marriage is not recognized. "

The couple could be forced to prepare 5 tax returns; one federally as a married couple, two individual federal returns, and two state returns. 

"They are treating my marriage that was legally performed in another state differently from my brother's marriage to a woman that was legally performed in another state," said Openshaw.

Susan Watterson, a Hoover based attorney, is helping Prince and Openshaw prepare their tax returns.  She says there is little same-sex couples can do to get around the preparation nightmare. 

"Any state that does like recognize same-sex marriage then the situation we have...you must comply with state law as well as the federal law," said Watterson. 

"Even though a certain state might not recognize same-sex marriage, they're trying to make a determination for income tax purposes within that state. Are they willing to allow that couple to file a joint return?" explained to Watterson.  

The difference in filing as a married couple, as opposed to filing separately, could result in thousands of added dollars in tax liability.  Thus, same-sex couples would have to shell out more money to Uncle Sam. 

 

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