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Isn’t It Ironic?

Jim Burroway

October 15th, 2013

The state of North Dakota doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage. The state of North Dakota so doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage that they created a special tax form, a unique form to be used only by you people in same-sex marriages and nobody else, so you can file your taxes in such a way as to ensure that the state of North Dakota double doesn’t recognize your same-sex marriage.

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Jim Taylor
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Hilarious! Thank goodness I live in Kentucky, where they haven’t gone to this terrible, petty, horrible extreme. Except…how do my husband & I file our taxes in Kentucky this year? How do we go about doing the necessary subtractions and separations from our federal filing to create two separate single filings? It’s almost as if a workform, similar to that done in stupid bad evil North Dakota, might be a *help* to us! But gosh, just like civil unions, we need to sneer at anything less than the perfect.

Ben In Oakland
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

It’s just what the IRS in 2010, when they created the blatantly illegal community property rule for gay couples legally married but unrecognized by the federal government.

Even though your marriage does not exist, if you are legally married and live in a community property state, you MUST declare your income jointly, even though we will not let you file a joint tax return..

Steven Webster
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

The State of Wisconsin has just published the same type of form–designed just for Same-Sex Couples who file a Joint Federal Return. It’s essentially a worksheet for allocating the Federal Adjusted Gross Income to each individual for filing the state return as “single.”

Yes, I suppose it’s a “help” to give us a worksheet to comply with the State’s discriminatory (and likely unconstitutional) anti-same sex marriage state constituion—but I’m not going to thank them for the “favor”. I find it insulting to have to file a form with the State of Wisconsin that officially singles me out by name and social security number as having broken Wisconsin law by going elsewhere to have a marriage that Wisconsin law forbids. (Yes, in Wisconsin, gay couples are committing a crime when they cross the border to Minnesota or Iowa to be married.)

KZ
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Settle down, Alanis Morissette.

Timothy Kincaid
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Jim,

California has dealt with this for a while. You have to prepare two completely separate sets of returns: one as a married couple and one as total strangers. File married with the IRS and single with the state.

If KY relies on the Federal return (with state adjustments), then you base the state return on the fake ‘total strangers’ draft return, not on the one you actually file.

Timothy Kincaid
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Ben,

That came out of a ruling that if you have a legal claim to someone’s income – married to them or not – then you had a taxable event (ie you increased in worth and thus are taxed on that increase). As the California legislature had pass legislation specifically assigning domestic partner with community property rights, then on partner was assumed to have a taxable gain upon the other partner’s income.

All of which – to me – makes sense.

The one that I’m amused at and which no one anywhere has ever tried to address, is the fact that for a while now the Federal Government DID RECOGNIZE same sex marriages in one circumstance. If you were in bankruptcy in the Central District of California (Los Angeles area), then the United States Bankruptcy Court recognized your same-sex marriage.

Timothy Kincaid
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Steven,

I’m not sure, but I doubt that you actually have to file that worksheet. It’s likely just a step-by-step guide on how to report your income to two entities in two different ways.

Jim Taylor
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Tim, thanks. BTW you do file the ND form, it recalculates each of your adjusted federal taxable incomes and you just use that on your state forms — no dummying up of 2 separate 1040’s & schedules. More convenient it seems to me, and I wish we had it.

Jim Burroway
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

I’m aware that a number of states have you prepare two completely separate federal forms to figure out what your state taxes are supposed to be. What I find interesting is that ND has apparently created a form — and not just a worksheet, but an actual form that you are supposed to file (PDF) if you are same-sex married. Which, of course, means that on some level, ND officially recognizes that you are same-sex married for the purposes of not recognizing your same-sex marriage.

Jim Burroway
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Under the form’s “General Information” :

“Schedule ND-1S must be used by individuals in a same-sex marriage recognized by another state who fi le their
federal income tax return using the married fi ling jointly filing status.”

Jim Taylor
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

Jim, all absolutely correct. Except I don’t find it curious and worth making fun of — I find it simply pragmatic and more convenient.

Matt
October 15th, 2013 | LINK

And I wonder how much it cost the taxpayers of North Dakota for the state to develop that form purely to discriminate against us?

JCF
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

“Settle down, Alanis Morissette.”

It’s like a TAX FORM
On your wedding day!
It’s a gays-only charge,
When you already paid!
‘Avoid ND’ advice
That you just didn’t take.
And the wingnuts thought it:
It figgers.

[Sorry, couldn’t resist. ;-/]

Richard Rush
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

The good news in all of this convolution seems to be that it adds to the legal arguments for requiring same-gender marriage equality in all fifty states.

Jay
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

Jim Burroway, I think you misunderstand what North Dakota is doing. They are trying to be helpful to married same-sex couples, who will likely pay less taxes by filing separately than jointly.

Of course, this would not be a problem if they simply recognized same-sex marriage.

I am already dreading what will happen when my husband and I file taxes this year. We will have to file as married for the feds, but as single for the state. A worksheet like that provided by North Dakota would be helpful. As it turns out, our state (which definitely does not recognize same-sex marriage) gets its figures directly from the IRS. So I do not know how that will affect our taxes.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Timothy Kincaid
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

Jay,

Do you not file returns with the state?

(And, in most cases the taxes will be less if filing married than if filing single. Yes, there are some instances in which married couples pay more, but that has been hyped way more than it is in actuality).

Steven Webster
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy, Sorry, but you guessed wrong about Wisconsin taxes. This is the link to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s explanation of the new Schedule S: http://www.revenue.wi.gov/taxpro/news/130906.html
Note that it says, “A complete copy of the federal return and Schedule S must be attached to Form 1 or Form 1NPR” Here’s a link to the PDF of the new Schedule S: http://www.revenue.wi.gov/forms/2011/07-11ScheduleS.pdf
So, Boxturtle, please stop treating North Dakota as the only example of this discriminatory nonsense. Also, please note that there are many cases of same-sex couples where there is a large discrepancy in income–the couple is likely to pay a lower tax filing jointly than filing singly. Joint returns are likely to be a great advantage to such couples. The State of Wisconsin is doing me no favor by forcing me to file an extra piece of paper declaring my exclusion from their “Heterosexuals Only” marriage policy. Also, you might want to investigate the fact that people like my husband and myself have committed a crime in Wisconsin by having gone out-of-state to have a marriage not allowed in Wisconsin. So far, no prosecutions under this law, but speculation is that filing a joint Wisconsin return might trigger prosecution under this law.

Timothy Kincaid
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

Steven,

Wow. Okay so you do have to file a Form S. Odd.

For what it’s worth (privacy issues aside) I think Form S looks to be simpler than the old CA method of preparing two entire tax return packages.

As for your point about couples often paying less… yep, I’ve been saying that over and over and over for a while now. But somehow the myth about everyone getting hit with a marriage penalty is just more persuasive.

Nathaniel
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

I can see Mr. Burroway’s point if this is NOT just a helpful worksheet, but ALSO a separate form that must be filed along with other state tax filings. If they just wanted to be helpful, Mr. Taylor, it seems a worksheet would suffice. Or, most helpful of all, they could just say they will look the other way should they receive a joint filing from a same-sex married couple. Certain political philosophies are supposed to hate government waste, but they apparently don’t care how much government money and time is wasted so long as the gays don’t get to file taxes jointly.

jerry
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

When I read the link to this piece, I noticed that ND has a marriage penalty built into their state income tax. So a married heterosexual couple will pay one amount but the married gay couple forced to file as strangers will pay less on the same combined income.

Poetic justice. I wonder how long it will take these cretins to figure out their bigotry is fucking their revenue.

Jay
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy,

Yes, we do file state income taxes. That’s the dilemma. We have to declare the adjusted gross income from the federal income tax return on the state income tax return, and the state tax is determined as a percentage of that figure (minus any state credits). That worked well enough when my husband and I were each single. Now, however, since we were married this year, we must file as married for federal taxes. So what do we do for the state taxes? The state doesn’t recognize our marriage. How will they determine our taxes?

Timothy Kincaid
October 16th, 2013 | LINK

Each state is different and yours will likely give you exact direction.

When it was just California and a few marriage states in the opposite situation, we had to prepare two sets of returns and base the state returns on the federal return which we did not with the IRS.

But, as you can see in the above discussion, it varies state to state.

Steven Webster
October 17th, 2013 | LINK

I doubt very much that any state actually charges a “marriage penalty” to EVERY married couple simply because they are married. Typically, a “marriage penalty” may occur when both spouses are working full time and earning good salaries. However, many many couples have a high earning spouse and a low earning spouse, or a spouse without a salary. In such cases, the couple may very well benefit from filing jointly.

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