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Important Tax Information for Civil Union Couples Filing their 2013 Illinois Income Tax Returns

Illinois taxpayers who were in a civil union – same-sex or not – during calendar year 2013 must determine how they file their income taxes for 2013,.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling in August 2013 stating that taxpayers in a civil union recognized under state law must file individually for federal income tax purposes. The IRS does not recognize civil unions as marriages. Click on the ruling to read the full Revenue Ruling 2013-17, as well as the related press release from the IRS.

What this means is, if you were in a civil union in 2013, you and your partner each must file separate 2013 federal returns as “single.” This is because the federal government does not recognize civil unions as marriages for tax purposes.

Unlike the federal government, the State of Illinois did recognize civil union couples as married for tax purposes for the 2013 tax year. For 2013, Illinois treated same-sex couples in a civil union exactly the same as opposite sex couples. If you were in a civil union as of December 31, 2013, you and your partner may choose to file as “married filing jointly” or as “married filing separately” when you prepare your 2013 Illinois Individual Income Tax forms, Neither civil union partner, however, may file as “single” or as “head of household” on his or her 2013 Illinois tax return. In addition, all civil union couples are required to include a completed Schedule CU, Civil Union Income Report. Each taxpayer in a civil union choosing to file a joint 2013 Illinois tax return is liable for the tax liability, and each partner’s share of any joint refund may be applied against unpaid liabilities of the other partner.

If one member of a civil union was an Illinois resident in 2013, and the other was not, and the partners choose to file a joint 2013 Illinois return, both partners must be treated as residents of Illinois.

Same sex couples who entered into a marriage in a state or jurisdiction that recognizes same sex marriages in 2013 should file both their federal and Illinois tax returns as “married filing jointly” or as “married filing separately.” Couples who file federal returns as “married filing jointly,” or as “married filing separately,” do not have to file the Schedule CU in Illinois.

Further Tax Advice

Additional information regarding IRS Revenue Ruling 2013-17, can be found by visiting Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for Registered Domestic Partners and Individuals in Civil Unions.

More information about civil unions and income tax return filing can be found at tax.illinois.gov and Information and instructions regarding Civil Union filing, including the Schedule CU, also can be found on page five (5) of the 2013 IL-1040 instruction booklet.

For personal tax-related advice please consult your tax advisor.