Last-Minute Tax Review for Same-Sex Couples

NC Income Tax

As Americans across the country prepare tax returns in the final days before April 15th, married same-sex couples face unique tax filing requirements. The Internal Revenue Service released a video for same-sex couples that outlines the federal changes since last year’s Supreme Court Windsor ruling, which provides that the marriages of same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes.


On the state level, couples face conflicting tax requirements. Our tax attorneys in Chapel Hill review a few last-minute tax reminders for married same-sex couples in North Carolina:

File paper returns. Since North Carolina does not recognize same-sex marriage, the state is requiring couples who were married in another jurisdiction to file their returns as single. For couples who want to file their state return jointly, the Campaign for Southern Equality released instructions for couples to file on paper returns, add an asterisk next to the “single” box, and include a marriage affirmation letter. Read more and find a link to a sample marriage affirmation letter here.

North Carolina College Savings Deduction. 2013 was the last year for taxpayers in North Carolina to claim this deduction for contributions made to 529 College Savings Plans. The maximum deduction is $2,500 for taxpayers filing single and $5,000 for taxpayers filing jointly. The availability of this deduction may depend on how married same-sex couples respond to the state’s requirement for filing “single” as noted above.

Tax refunds. If an employee paid for their partner’s health insurance premiums, they may be due a payroll tax refund. Taxpayers may also be due refunds for gift and income tax. Review returns with a North Carolina tax attorney before submitting.

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