flag-36423_1280Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals to cases overturning same-sex marriage bans in several states, including Wisconsin.

As a result, same-sex marriage is now legal in those states.

From a tax perspective, Wisconsin released guidance earlier this week saying that couples in same-sex marriage can now file joint Wisconsin tax returns. Previously, Wisconsin had said same-sex couples needed to file separate Wisconsin tax returns as single people, and recalculations may need to be done in arriving at Wisconsin taxes. That all goes away now:

Previously, same-sex couples who filed a joint federal tax return were required to file as single or head of household for Wisconsin. Schedule S was used to separate the income reported on the federal joint tax return to the separate Wisconsin returns. Schedule S should no longer be filed with a Wisconsin tax return.

Determining filing status

A couple is considered married for the whole year if they were lawfully married as of December 31. If a spouse dies during the year, the couple may file a joint return for the year unless the surviving spouse remarries during the year. Lawfully married means a valid marriage in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Filing returns

2014 individual income tax returns
A lawfully married same-sex couple must file their Wisconsin individual income tax returns as married filing jointly, married filing separately or, if qualified, as head of household.

2013 and prior returns filed on or after October 16, 2014
A lawfully married same-sex couple must file their Wisconsin individual income tax returns as married filing jointly, married filing separately or, if qualified, as head of household.

2013 and prior returns filed before October 16, 2014
A lawfully married same-sex couple who already filed their tax returns, may choose (but are not required) to amend their Wisconsin tax returns using Form 1X, claiming a filing status of married filing jointly, married filing separately or, if qualified, as head of household. Prior returns may be amended as long as the period of limitations has not expired.

From a news release on the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website.

Image courtesy of user Nemo on Pixabay.com

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