Illinois Couples in Civil Unions May File Joint Tax Returns
By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 29, 2011 9:20PM
Good news for Illinois couples who entered into civil unions this year: Now they can file joint state income tax returns.
The ability to file a joint tax return was one of the issues not clarified when the Civil Unions Law went into effect in June. But the Illinois Department of Revenue, with an assist fro Equality Illinois, came to a resolution.
Couples in civil unions may be able to file their state income tax returns as "married, filed jointly" or "married, filed separately" just as a traditionally married couple. Equality Illinois director of public policy Randy Hannig said in a statement, ". Illinois law specifies that couples in a civil union are afforded the same rights and benefits as married spouses, so why should same-sex couples' state tax status be any different?"
While Equality Illinois is congratulating their efforts, Anthony Martinez, executive director of LGBT advocacy group the Civil Rights Agenda, released a statement that read:
“It is always a positive step forward when Illinois grants further relationship recognition at another state agency. With that said, Illinois has a flat tax, so this will not allow for any added benefits to these couples. We at The Civil Rights Agenda will continue to fight for same-gender marriage in Illinois and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act to ensure that same-gender couples will have the same rights and responsibilities as all couples, including the ability to file taxes jointly at the federal level.”
Illinois becomes the 10th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex couples to file joint tax returns.