IRS Apoligizes to Same-Sex Couples in California

The IRS has issued a public apology to same-sex couples in California who have had tax returns rejected.  A year ago, the IRS ruled that same-sex married couples and “registered domestic parners” in California can now apply “community property” rules when filing their federal tax returns.  But dozens of same-sex taxpayers in California have had their tax returns rejected even though they are following IRS guidelines on how their returns should be prepared.  The taxpayers are receiving letters of rejection signed by an employee named “J. Bell.”  From the New York Times:

“Your return includes income or tax liability for more than one taxpayer, other than husband and wife,” the letters read. Note: husband and wife. Not two husbands, or two wives.

Couples who received the letters had to produce additional paperwork and faced delays in receiving refunds; most were forced to hire tax professionals.

In a statement this week, the I.R.S. said that the letters had been “incorrectly sent” because of a processing error and that it “apologizes for this mistake and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to taxpayers.”

The agency explained that J. Bell was a manager whose stamped signature was “system-generated.”

You can read the full New York Times article here.  And you can click here to read prior Dinesen Tax Times coverage, from an Iowa perspective, of last year’s IRS ruling on applying community property rules to same-sex couples.