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IRS - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Same-Sex Couples

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The following questions and answers provide information to same-sex domestic partners, same-sexindividuals in civil unions and same-sex couples whose marriage is recognized by state law (forconvenience, these individuals are referred to as “same-sex couples” and each individual is referredto as a “same-sex partner” in these questions and answers). Below this information are questionsand answers for same-sex couples who reside in community property states and are subject to theirstate’s community property laws:

Q. Can same-sex partners who are legally married for state law purposes file federal taxreturns using a married filing jointly or married filing separately status?

A. No. Same-sex partners may not file using a married filing separately or jointly filing statusbecause federal law does not treat same-sex partners as married for federal tax purposes.

Q. Can a taxpayer use the head-of-household filing status if the taxpayer’s only dependent ishis or her same-sex partner?

A. No. A taxpayer cannot file as head of household if the taxpayer’s only dependent is his or hersame-sex partner. A taxpayer’s same-sex partner is not one of the related individuals described inthe law that qualifies the taxpayer to file as head of household, even if the same-sex partner is the taxpayer’s dependent.

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