Resources

Overview of State Income Tax Requirements

Tax CoupleIn June 2013, the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which excluded same-sex married couples from recognition for all federal benefits and programs—including federal income tax. In a revenue ruling issued that summer, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced that legally married same-sex couples would be recognized for all federal income tax purposes, regardless of where they live. Under this ruling, the IRS will recognize married same-sex couples for the purposes of income tax, estate and gift taxes, and payroll taxes associated with many employee spousal benefits. 

However, this ruling does not affect whether the state in which you live recognizes your marriage, meaning you may be recognized as married by the federal government but still considered single by your state government.  In some cases, your state may instruct you as a taxpayer to use your federal filing status (e.g. “single,” “married filing jointly,” etc.) when preparing your state tax return. With the IRS’s ruling, this could create conflicting requirements, and navigating them can be complicated and confusing.

Below is an overview of state income tax requirements and any guidance provided by state revenue agencies for married same-sex couples. It is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as legal or tax advice or an opinion on specific facts or circumstances. In addition, while we attempt to incorporate the most up-to-date information in this document, this is a rapidly-evolving and complex area of the law and it is important to consult your state revenue agency as well. Contact a legal or tax professional for guidance specific to you and your family.

Select Your State:

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming


State Income Tax Filing Requirements

States dictate filing status requirements for individual taxpayers and married couples. Some states conform to federal tax law, meaning that they require taxpayers to use their federal filing status on state returns. This can present a conflict for married same-sex couples living in a state that does not recognize their marriages under state law. Other states do not rely on federal filing status, and instead create independent state requirements for filing status. Still other states do not have a state income tax, or only tax income from interest or dividends. Your tax obligations and filing requirements will depend on where you live and guidance issued by your state revenue agency. 

However, regardless of whether your state recognizes your marriage, if you have a valid marriage license from a state or foreign country, you are now required to file your federal income taxes as married. The IRS has extensive information about filing your federal taxes after the Windsor decision here.

Resources


Alabama

Alabama began recognizing same-sex marriage in February 2015.  Alabama did not recognize same-sex marriage for the 2014 tax year.  Couples who were legally married in a state outside of Alabama in 2014 or earlier will be required to file as “married” for federal tax purposes, but must file their 2014 Alabama state taxes as individuals. 

For more information:

Alabama Department of Revenue
http://revenue.alabama.gov/
(334) 242-1170
 

Alaska

Alaska does not have a state income tax.  Married same-sex couples living in Alaska must file federal income tax returns as “married.” 


Arizona

Arizona began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Couples legally married in Arizona in 2014 – or previously in another state that recognized the marriage – should file as “married” for state and federal tax purposes for the 2014 tax year. 

For more information:

Arizona Department of Revenue
http://www.azdor.gov/
(602)-542-2132
 

Arkansas

Although a federal court struck down the Arkansas constitutional ban prohibiting state recognition of same-sex marriage in May 2014, the decision is currently stayed.  The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has advised that legally married same-sex couples living in Arkansas should file as individuals. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/Pages/default.aspx
(501) 682-1100
 

California

California recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes.  Couples should note that California generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like California, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.


Colorado

Colorado began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Couples married in Colorado in 2014 –or previously in another state that recognized the marriage – should file as “married” for the 2014 tax year for both federal and state tax purposes.  Couples should note that Colorado requires that state filing status match federal filing status.

For more information:

Colorado Department of Revenue, Taxpayer Services
http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Revenue/REVX/1222771311277
(303) 238-7378
 

Connecticut

Connecticut recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Connecticut, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.  Couples should note that Connecticut generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status. 


Delaware

Delaware recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Delaware, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that Delaware generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status. 


District of Columbia

The District of Columbia recognizes legally married same-sex couples for District tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in any state -- or in the District of Columbia -- that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that DC generally requires taxpayers to start their DC return with their federal gross income. 

For more information:

District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue
http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/
(202) 727-4829
taxhelp@dc.gov


Florida

Florida does not have a state income tax. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Married same-sex couples living in Florida must file federal income tax returns as married. 


Georgia

In general, Georgia requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return.  However, due to a constitutional ban prohibiting state recognition of same-sex marriage, the Georgia Department of Revenue has published guidance stating that legally married same-sex couples should file their state income tax as individuals.  Legally married same-sex couples will be expected to recompute their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and itemized deductions as if they were single for their Georgia returns.  Taxpayers are advised to use Georgia Form 500 for single taxpayers.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Georgia Department of Revenue, Office of Tax Policy
https://etax.dor.ga.gov/TaxLawandPolicy/index.aspx
(404) 417-6649
 

Hawaii

Hawaii recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes.   Legally married same-sex couples may file their taxes as married on their federal and state returns. Couples in civil unions may file their Hawaii state tax returns as married, however, for federal tax purposes these couples should file individually. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Hawaii Department of Taxation, Taxpayer Services
http://www6.hawaii.gov/tax/brochures/taxinfo.pdf
(808) 587-4242
 

Idaho

Idaho recognizes legally married same-sex couples for tax purposes.  Couples should note that Idaho generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Idaho, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Idaho State Tax Commission
http://www.tax.idaho.gov/
(208) 334-7505

Illinois

Illinois began recognizing same-sex marriage June 1, 2014.  Couples married in Illinois in 2014 –or previously in any state that recognized the marriage– should file as “married” for the 2014 tax year for both federal and state tax purposes.  Legally recognized domestic partners should use the Civil Union tax schedule (Schedule CU) to complete a pro forma federal return, which creates joint Adjusted Gross Income for purposes of filing an Illinois return as a couple in a civil union. The federal government does not recognize civil unions or domestic partnerships for federal tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Illinois Department of Revenue, Taxpayer Services
http://www.revenue.state.il.us/#&panel1-1
(217) 782-3336
 

Indiana

Indiana began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Couples married in Indiana in 2014 –or previously in any state that recognized the marriage – should file as “married” for the 2014 tax year for both federal and state tax purposes.  Couples should note that Indiana requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return.

For more information:

Indiana Department of Revenue
http://www.in.gov/dor/
(317) 232-2240
 

Iowa

Iowa recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Iowa, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.
 

Kansas

Kansas recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Kansas, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that Kansas generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status.

For more information:

Kansas Department of Revenue
http://www.ksrevenue.org/
(785) 368-8222
 

Kentucky

Kentucky has a constitutional ban prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage.  The Kentucky Department of Revenue has issued guidance providing that legally married same-sex couples should file separate Kentucky state income tax returns.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Kentucky Department of Revenue
http://revenue.ky.gov/
(502) 564-4581
 

Louisiana

In general, Louisiana requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return.  However, due to a constitutional ban prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriage the Louisiana Department of Revenue issued guidance directing legally married same-sex couples to individual state tax returns.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Louisiana Department of Revenue
http://www.rev.state.la.us/
(225) 219-0102
 

Maine

Maine recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Maine, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.
 

Maryland

The state of Maryland recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Maryland, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that Maryland generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status. 


Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Massachusetts, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.


Michigan

In general, Michigan requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. However, due to a constitutional ban prohibiting state recognition of same-sex marriage, the Michigan Department of Revenue published guidance providing that legally married same-sex couples will be required to file their state income tax return separately pursuant to state guidance. If couples file jointly for federal purposes, they will be expected to recalculate their federal Adjusted Gross Income as if they had filed two “single” federal returns. The Michigan Department of Treasury will provide a worksheet to recalculate income. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Michigan Department of Treasury
http://www.michigan.gov/taxes
(517) 636-4486
 

Minnesota

Minnesota recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Minnesota, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that Minnesota generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status. 


Mississippi

Mississippi has a constitutional ban prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriage.  Mississippi Department of Revenue has provided guidance directing legally married same-sex couples to file as individuals for Mississippi state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Mississippi Department of Revenue
http://www.dor.ms.gov/
(601) 923-7089
 

Missouri

The Missouri Department of Revenue will accept joint tax filings from legally married same-sex couples. Couples should note that Missouri requires that the state filing status match federal filing status. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Missouri Department of Revenue
http://dor.mo.gov/
(573) 751-3505
 

Montana

Montana began recognizing same-sex marriage in November 2014.  Couples married in Montana in 2014 –or in any state that recognized the marriage – should file as “married” for the 2014 tax year for both federal and state tax purposes.  Married same-sex couples living in Montana have the option to amend any prior tax years if they were legally married at the end of that year. Tax years in statute go back five years, meaning by April 2015 couples could file amendments back to tax year 2009.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Montana Department of Revenue
http://revenue.mt.gov/default.mcpx

For questions regarding individual state tax concerns call:

(406) 444-6900
 

Nebraska

In general, Nebraska requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. However, due to a constitutional ban prohibiting state recognition of same-sex marriage through the 2014 tax year, the Nebraska Department of Revenue published guidance requiring individuals in a same-sex marriage to file their Nebraska individual income tax returns separately using the single or, if qualified, head of household filing status. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Nebraska Department of Revenue
http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov/
(402) 471-5729
 

Nevada

Nevada does not have a state income tax. Married same-sex couples living in Nevada must file federal income tax returns as “married.” 


New Hampshire

New Hampshire does not have a state income tax. Married same-sex couples living in New Hampshire must file federal income tax returns as “married.” 


New Jersey

New Jersey recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like New Jersey, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that New Jersey generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status.


New Mexico

New Mexico recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like New Mexico, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that New Mexico generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status.

For more information:

New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department
http://www.tax.newmexico.gov/Pages/TRD-Homepage.aspx
(505) 827-0700
 

New York

The state of New York recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like New York, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that New York generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status.
 

North Carolina

North Carolina began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014. Same-sex couples married in North Carolina in 2014 – or in any other state previously – should file as “married” for the 2014 tax year for state and federal tax purposes.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like North Carolina, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that in general North Carolina requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. 

For more information:

North Carolina Department of Revenue
http://www.dornc.com/
1-877-252-3052
 

North Dakota

In general, North Dakota requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. However, due to a constitutional ban prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriage the North Dakota Tax Commissioner published guidance requiring legally married same-sex couples to file separately for North Dakota income tax purposes. Individuals in legal same-sex marriages who file as “married” for federal purposes will be required to complete an additional form, Schedule ND-1S, Allocation of Income by Same-Sex Individuals Filing a Joint Federal Return for North Dakota state tax purposes. This is a supplemental schedule to Form ND-1 on which the individuals will determine their separate shares of the adjusted gross income and taxable income amounts reported on their joint federal income tax return. They will use their separate shares of these amounts to complete their separate North Dakota returns. Only one Schedule ND-1S is to be completed by the individuals, and a copy of it must be attached to each individual’s Form ND-1. A copy of the federal income tax return and, if applicable, Schedule ND-1S must be attached to each individual’s Form ND-1. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

North Dakota Office of the State Tax Commissioner
http://www.nd.gov/tax/
(701) 328-1247
 

Ohio

In general, Ohio requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. However, due to a constitutional ban prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriage the Ohio Department of Taxation has published guidance providing that legally married same-sex couples should file individually for Ohio state income tax purposes.  Individuals in legal same-sex marriages who file as “married” for federal purposes will be required to complete an additional form, Ohio Schedule IT S, Federal AGI to be Reported by  Same-Gender Taxpayers Filing a Joint Federal Return, which is a supplement to Form IT 1040. This is a schedule on which individuals must allocate the federal adjusted gross income (“federal AGI”) reported on their joint federal income tax return. These amounts will be used as the individuals’ federal AGI for Ohio purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Ohio Department of Taxation
http://www.tax.ohio.gov/
1-800-282-1780
 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Same-sex couples married in Oklahoma in 2014 – or previously in any other state – must file as “married” for tax year 2014 for both federal and state tax purposes.  Couples should note that in general Oklahoma requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Oklahoma Tax Commission
http://www.tax.ok.gov/
(405) 521-3160
 

Oregon

The Oregon Department of Revenue will accept joint tax filings from legally married same-sex couples. Couples should note that Oregon requires that state filing status match federal filing status. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Oregon Department of Revenue
http://www.oregon.gov/dor/Pages/index.aspx
(503) 378-4988
 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania began recognizing same-sex marriage in May 2014.  Same-sex couples married in Pennsylvania in 2014 – or previously in any other state that recognized the marriage— should file as “married” for the 2014 tax year for both federal and state tax purposes.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
http://www.revenue.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/revenue_home/10648
(717) 787-8346


Rhode Island

Rhode Island recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Rhode Island, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.


South Carolina

South Carolina began recognizing same-sex marriage in November 2014.  Same-sex couples married in South Carolina in 2014 – or previously in any other state that recognized the marriage – should file as “married” for tax year 2014 for both federal and state tax purposes.  Couples should note that in general South Carolina requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

South Carolina Department of Revenue
http://www.sctax.org/default.htm
(803) 898-5838
 

South Dakota

South Dakota does not have a state income tax. Married same-sex couples living in South Dakota must file federal income tax returns as married. 


Tennessee

Tennessee has a constitutional ban prohibiting recognition of same-sex marriage. Tennessee has a limited income tax – only taxing interest from bonds and notes and dividends from stocks. Legally married same-sex couples should plan to file as individuals for purposes of state taxation purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes. 

For more information:

Tennessee Department of Revenue
http://www.tn.gov/revenue/
(615) 253-0600
 

Texas

Texas does not have a state income tax. Married same-sex couples living in Texas must file federal income tax returns as “married.” 


Utah

Utah began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Couples married in Utah in 2014 – or previously in any other state— should file as “married” for tax year 2014 for both federal and state tax purposes.  The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Utah State Tax Commission
http://tax.utah.gov/
(801) 297-2200
 

Vermont

Vermont recognizes legally married same-sex couples for state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Vermont, as “married” for all federal tax purposes. Couples should note that Vermont generally requires that the state filing status match federal filing status.


Virginia

Virginia began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Same-sex couples married in Virginia in 2014 – or previously in any other state— should file as “married” for tax year 2014 for both federal and state purposes.  Couples should note that in general Virginia requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Virginia Department of Taxation
http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
(804) 367-8031
 

Washington

Washington does not levy a state income tax however; the state does recognize legally married same-sex couples as “married” for other state tax purposes. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who are legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, like Washington, as “married” for all federal tax purposes.


West Virginia

West Virginia began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Same-sex couples married in West Virginia in 2014 – or previously in any other state— should file as “married” for tax year 2014 for both federal and state purposes.  Couples should note that in general West Virginia requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

West Virginia Department of Revenue
http://www.revenue.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx
(304) 558-3333
 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin began recognizing same-sex marriage in October 2014.  Same-sex couples married in Wisconsin in 2014 – or previously in any other state— should file as “married” for tax year 2014 for both federal and state purposes.  Couples should note that in general Wisconsin requires taxpayers to use the same filing status on their state return that they use on their federal return. The federal government recognizes same-sex couples who were legally married in any state that recognizes same-sex marriage as “married” for all federal tax purposes.

For more information:

Wisconsin Department of Revenue
http://www.revenue.wi.gov/
(608) 266-2486
 

Wyoming

Wyoming does not have a state income tax. Married same-sex couples living in Wyoming must file federal income tax returns as married.