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IRS Provides Answers to Community Property Filers

Note: We are reviewing the important June 26 Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act. We will be working with the Department of Treasury and Department of Justice, and we will move swiftly to provide revised guidance in the near future.

The IRS provides information in a question and answer format for individuals who are subject to their state’s community property laws. These questions and answers apply generally to same-sex spouses in California and to registered domestic partners in California, Nevada and Washington.

Federal tax law generally defers to state law on matters relating to property. The questions and answers provided today will help certain taxpayers in three community property states understand how to properly file and pay federal income tax.

The IRS has previously included some information on the treatment of community property in Publication 555, Community Property, for same-sex spouses in California and registered domestic partners in California, Nevada and Washington. However, these questions and answers provide additional information to assist filers with the preparation of correct income tax returns.

These questions and answers address issues such as whether a registered domestic partner can use the head of household filing status. Other topics include claiming a registered domestic partner as a dependent for purposes of the dependency deduction and the exclusion for reimbursement of medical expenses, claiming children as dependents, and claiming adoption credits.

The questions and answers not only provide information about filing current and future tax returns, but also answer questions about amending prior year tax returns.

Related item: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Same-Sex Couples

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