The federal government has made some things clear: Same-sex
couples married in any jurisdiction that permits such unions must
now file their federal returns as married, even if they live in a
state that doesn't recognize their marriage.
But the rules for state tax filings still follow the law of the
state where they reside, and that can make things sticky. Plus, the
situation is fluid in many states, with court challenges being
mounted in many states.
Those living in states that OK their marriage will file state
returns as married. Those states are: California, Connecticut,
Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode
Island, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.
The same holds true for married same-sex couples living in
Colorado, Missouri and Oregon, even though those three locales
currently prohibit same-sex marriage in their states.
Utah -- which also doesn't permit same-sex marriage -- is
allowing couples to choose whether to file as married or single for
the 2013 tax year as the broader fight over same-sex marriage in
that state continues in the courts.
Legally married same-sex couples in other states, who will have
to file as single, should plan on spending extra time on their tax
returns. Since states typically base tax returns on federal tax
returns, these couples may have to create "dummy" federal tax
returns as single filers before they can complete their state tax
States currently requiring same-sex couples to continue to file
singly are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia,
And, of course, if you live in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South
Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, the question is moot: There's
no income tax at all.