Ga. up­dates pro­ce­dures al­low­ing same-sex cou­ples to file taxes jointly

GA Voice - - GEORGIA NEWS -

By PA­TRICK SAUN­DERS “This means that those taxpayers wait­ing to file 2014 as joint may do so now. Also, if any cou­ples filed as sin­gle but were mar­ried in the most re­cent three open years, then they could pos­si­bly file an amended re­turn to claim a re­fund. Depend­ing on the tax sit­u­a­tion for each cou­ple, this may or may not make sense. They should con­sult their tax ad­vi­sor.”

— Mercedes M. Pasqualetti, gen­eral man­ager of HLM Fi­nan­cial Group

The Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Rev­enue up­dated its guide­lines to al­low mar­ried same-sex cou­ples to file joint tax re­turns and pos­si­bly even file amended re­turns if they were mar­ried in a dif­fer­ent state dur­ing the past three tax years.

“In light of the June 26, 2015, U.S. Supreme Court Rul­ing in Oberge­fell v. Hodges, the Depart­ment will rec­og­nize same-sex mar­riages in the same way it rec­og­nizes mar­riages be­tween op­po­site-sex cou­ples,” the July 14 memo reads. “The Depart­ment will rec­og­nize a mar­riage where the li­cense was is­sued in Ge­or­gia and a mar­riage law­fully li­censed and per­formed out of state.”

“If, on or be­fore the date of this no­tice, a law­fully mar­ried same-sex cou­ple filed Ge­or­gia in­come tax re­turns as though they were not mar­ried, or had their Ge­or­gia in­come tax re­turns ad­justed by the Rev­enue Depart­ment based on treat­ing them as not mar­ried, those per­sons may file amended Ge­or­gia in­come tax re­turns un­der the rules that ap­plied for the tax years in ques­tion to law­fully mar­ried op­po­site-sex cou­ples,” the memo con­tin­ues. “Whether a re­fund claimed on such an amended re­turn can be paid will de­pend on the statute of lim­i­ta­tions, which re­quires that such a claim be filed within three years of the later of the date of pay­ment of the tax to the Rev­enue Depart­ment or the due date (in­clud­ing any ex­ten­sions granted) for fil­ing the orig­i­nal re­turn for that pe­riod.”

The Depart­ment of Rev­enue’s ac­tion was one of the fi­nal steps made to re­flect the U.S. Supreme Court strik­ing down same-sex mar­riage bans na­tion­wide.

“This means that those taxpayers wait­ing to file 2014 as joint may do so now,” says Mercedes M. Pasqualetti, gen­eral man­ager of HLM Fi­nan­cial Group. “Also, if any cou­ples filed as sin­gle but were mar­ried in the most re­cent three open years, then they could pos­si­bly file an amended re­turn to claim a re­fund. Depend­ing on the tax sit­u­a­tion for each cou­ple, this may or may not make sense. They should con­sult their tax ad­vi­sor.”

The move fol­lows no­ti­fi­ca­tion by the state to its more than 90,000 em­ploy­ees that same­sex spouses are now el­i­gi­ble for em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits, and the Univer­sity Sys­tem of Ge­or­gia in­struct­ing its em­ploy­ees that same-sex spouses are el­i­gi­ble for ben­e­fits as well.

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