For Gay Couples In Arizona, Filing Taxes Proves To Be Complicated

November 04, 2013

The United States Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act is making the upcoming tax season a little more complicated for gay couples in Arizona.

Legally married gays and lesbians can now file joint federal tax returns. But since Arizona doesn’t recognize marriage between gay couples, those who live here must file state returns separately. The wrinkle is that Arizona is what’s known as a piggy back state: residents compute state income tax based on the adjusted gross income from their federal tax form.

Sean Laux from the state Department of Revenue says his agency has created a new form for gay couples to compute whose income and deductions are attributed to whom.

“We’re dealing with that the best way that we can, to try and make it as easy to administer based on the Supreme Court’s decision plus the IRS ruling, and then also keeping in mind our own laws here in Arizona,” Laux said.

 But one CPA says there are lots of potential complications, everything from joint bank accounts to community property owned in other states.