Same-Sex Marriage and Taxes – Hawaii, Delaware and Miscellaneous News

For the first installment of Gay Marriage Monday for 2012, we recap some tax-related news.

  • In Iowa, a judge last week sided with a lesbian couple who argued that both of their names should be on their 2-year-old’s birth certificate. Click here for a story from the Des Moines Register. While not purely tax-related, it could have tax implications. If both parents are the legal parents of the child, then the parents can decide between themselves who claims the tax dependency exemption for the child.
  • Delaware and Hawaii now allow same-sex civil unions as of 1/1/12. Couples in such unions will be treated as married for state tax purposes in both states. Click here for a summary from Lambda Legal of Delaware’s civil union law.
  • Two churches in Hawaii filed a complaint against the state to stop the civil union law, but the lawsuit was dismissed last week.

The following states now allow same-sex marriage or civil unions and allow couples in such unions to file as married on state tax returns:

  • California (California allowed same-sex marriage prior to Proposition 8 being enacted. Marriages conducted prior to Prop 8 are still recognized. California now allows same-sex “registered domestic partnerships.” Prop 8 is currently being challenged in the courts.)
  • Connecticut (marriage)
  • Delaware (civil unions)
  • District of Columbia (marriage)
  • Hawaii (civil unions)
  • Illinois (civil unions)
  • Iowa (marriage)
  • New York (marriage)
  • New Jersey (civil unions)
  • Oregon (domestic partnerships)
  • Rhode Island (civil unions)
  • Vermont (marriage)

Note: Nevada (domestic partnerships); New Hampshire (marriage)* and Washington state (domestic partnerships) also allow same-sex marriage/partnerships but those states don’t have an individual income tax.

*-New Hampshire does assess a tax on interest and dividends; couples in a same-sex marriage are considered married if they are subject to that tax.

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