Category: Estate Planning
Tags: LGBT Estate Planning, Gift Tax, NC income tax, Tax, Tax Returns

Tax Tips for Married Same-Sex Couples in North Carolina

Posted on: February 12th, 2014
Although married same-sex couples can file their federal tax returns jointly, their marriage is not recognized for tax purposes under North Carolina tax law. North Carolina laws require same-sex couples who were married in another jurisdiction to file as “single.”

LGBT law advocates and lawmakers are discussing ways to address this issue. Local news reports have covered discrimination issues and the pressure placed on North Carolina taxpayers to “lie” about their marital status as a result of this state tax requirement.
Married same-sex couples in North Carolina who refuse to file their state return as “single” may face penalties. However, the Campaign for Southern Equality, a North Carolina-based organization dedicated to promoting LGBT equality throughout the South, released instructions for married LGBT couples when filing their state tax return.
Married same-sex couples will not be able to file electronically if they want to follow these instructions. Instead, partners can file individual paper state tax returns and add an asterisk next to the “single” box. Each partner must include a letter affirming their marriage and stating their name and Social Security Number. The Campaign for Southern Equality has provided a sample marriage affirmation letter here.
To ensure forms are filled out properly and that married same-sex couples are benefiting from the many legislation changes affording health insurance premium refunds and income tax deductions, check with one of our Chapel Hill estate planning attorneys who are familiar with the many changes affecting LGBT couples across the Tar Heel State. The statute of limitations is currently open for same-sex couples to file amended tax returns. Learn more important tax steps for same-sex couples in NC.
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