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IRS Provides Answers to Community Property Filers (Seattle - Sept. 16, 2011)

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

SEA-2011-14, September 16, 2011

SEATTLE - The Internal Revenue Service today provided information on its website in a question and answer format to 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.