March 31, 2014
LGBT Practice Co-Leader Janis Cowhey, Quoted in Detroit Free Press Article, "Some Same-Sex Married Couples Living In Michigan Have To Prepare Five Tax Returns."
By Susan Tompor
Many legally married gay and lesbian couples are delighted by the change in federal income tax rules that treats them like other married couples. But state-by-state rules continue to create tax-time turmoil.
For the 2013 tax year and going forward, same-sex couples who are legally married generally must file using either married filing separately or married filing jointly on federal income tax returns. This is the first year that legally married same-sex couples are required to file federal tax returns as married.
“Unfortunately, these are not the years you can use TurboTax,” said Janis Cowhey McDonagh, partner and co-leader of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Practice group for Marcum in New York. “I can’t imagine how many mistakes are being made out there on these filings.”
Michigan and some other states that do not recognize same-sex marriages and still require couples to file state income tax returns as single filers.You may need 5 tax returns
In Michigan, a same-sex couple married in a state that recognizes their marriage would need to prepare five tax returns and file three of them.