Tax Guidance For Individuals In A Same-Sex Marriage

Federal Tax Treatment

For Federal tax purposes, Rev. Rul. 2013-17 provides that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will recognize a marriage of same-sex individuals that was validly entered into in a state whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex. This applies even if the married couple is domiciled in a state that does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.

As a result, for tax year 2013 and going forward, same-sex spouses generally must file their federal income tax returns using a filing status of married filing jointly or married filing separately. For tax year 2012 and all prior years, same-sex spouses who file an original tax return on or after September 16, 2013, generally must file their returns using a filing status of married filing jointly or married filing separately.

For tax year 2012, same-sex spouses who filed their tax return before September 16, 2013, may choose (but are not required) to amend their federal tax returns to file using a filing status of married filing jointly or married filing separately. For tax years 2011 and earlier, same-sex spouses who filed their tax returns timely may choose (but are not required) to amend their federal tax returns to file using a filing status of married filing jointly or married filing separately provided the period of limitations for amending the return has not expired.

Wisconsin Tax Treatment

Wisconsin does not recognize a same-sex marriage. Section 71.03(2)(d), Wis. Stats., provides that a husband and wife may file a joint return for income tax purposes. Individuals who entered into a same-sex marriage in another state cannot file a Wisconsin income tax return using a tax status of married filing jointly or married filing separately.

In the case of same-sex individuals who are considered married for federal tax purposes:

The above guidance applies to:

Although amended returns may be filed for federal tax purposes to change the filing status to married filing jointly or married filing separately, no amended returns may be filed for Wisconsin to change the filing status.

Schedule S will be available online at revenue.wi.gov by September 30, 2013. The department may issue further guidance as needed.

Last updated September 6, 2013