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North Carolina Announces New Tax Directives for Same-Sex Spouses

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Raleigh, N.C. - On October 18, the North Carolina Department of Revenue released a new directive on tax filing status for legally-married same sex couples living in North Carolina. According to the directive, because North Carolina does not recognize same-sex marriages, individuals who enter into a same-sex marriage in another state will not be able to file a state of North Carolina personal income tax return using the filing status of 'married filing jointly' or 'married filing separately.'

Same-sex married couples will now be required to file a separate North Carolina income tax return on Form D-400 using the filing status of single or, if qualified, head of household or qualifying widow(er) and must complete a separate pro forma federal return for North Carolina purposes with the filing status of single or, if qualified, head of household or qualifying widow(er). A copy of the pro forma federal return must be attached to the North Carolina return.

Such taxpayers who file electronically will now be asked to file the “state only” return for North Carolina purposes. This process will prompt the taxpayer to complete another federal return with the North Carolina filing status of single or, if qualified, head of household or qualifying widow(er), and this pro forma federal return must be transmitted with the state return when the taxpayer files the “state only” return with North Carolina.

Read the full N.C. Department of Revenue directive here.

"While for federal income tax purposes, same-sex couples who married out-of-state can now file a 'joint return' or 'married filing separate' returns, with this directive, North Carolina is yet again taking the approach that these same spouses are second class citizens within the confines of our borders, forcing them to file a separate, "dummy" federal return to use for state taxes," explained Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC. "This complex and burdensome directive proves yet again that discrimination is unnecessarily difficult, and equality is easy - and we can't and won't stop fighting for the latter in the Old North State and beyond."

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