Ill Urges Gay Couples to File ‘As if Married’ on Federal Taxes

The Illinois Review noticed an interesting thing about the instructions for the State of Illinois 2012 tax returns. Illinois is urging gay couples to file as “married.”

As IR notes, tax filings may be a bit confusing for same sex couple in Illinois. The Land of Lincoln allows for civil unions, but the federal government does not, so figuring out how to file may be a bit of a challenge.

The instructions get even more confusing because the Illinois civil union law does not require couples to denote whether they are same sex when filing for civil union licenses. However, the Illinois tax form and instructions explicitly refer to same-sex couples civil unions and denotes other, special instructions for opposite sex civil unions.

At the top of the tax form, the IL-1040 has a check box option for same-sex couples that reads: “D. Check if same-sex civil union return (see Instructions)”

Here is a scan of the front page of the instruction booklet…

Here is a scan of the actual instructions in the Illinois tax packet.

This is, we can see, one of the confusing drawbacks to having states do one thing while the feds do another without either having fast a sure rules about what tax filers should do.

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