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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Filing Your Tax Return? IRS Recognition of Same-Sex Couples Means Major Change for 2010 Returns

Save the Date:  Lambda Legal Teleconference on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific

The IRS has announced a major shift in how it treats certain same-sex couples who are married or are registered domestic partners in three states. For the first time, as California, Nevada and Washington registered domestic partners and California same-sex spouses fill out their federal tax returns for 2010, the IRS will recognize jointly owned community property income, the same way it does for different-sex married couples who file separate federal income tax returns.

Lambda Legal will host a telephone news conference on February 22, 2011 to explain how affected couples must complete their tax returns.  Lambda Legal has also released a short guide aimed at same-sex couples and tax professionals outlining the new rules.

WHAT:           Telephone conference for members of the news media

WHO:                Peter Renn, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney

WHEN:        Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific

CALL-IN:         Conference number: (888) 390-3983

WHY:                The IRS will now recognize the jointly owned community property income earned by California, Nevada and Washington RDPs and California same-sex spouses, the same way it long has done for different-sex married couples who file separate federal income tax returns.  Recognition of "community income" means couples each will report half of their combined income on their separate returns -- called "income-splitting" -- which can mean big savings for couples with wide disparities in income.

SUBMIT:         If you'd like to submit your questions ahead of time please send them to Jason Howe, Senior Public Information Officer at

To download Lambda Legal's FAQ explaining the new IRS position about registered domestic partners' community property rights, please go to:


  1. What about Massachusetts?

  2. Mass is not a community property state so not affected by the IRS ruling.
    Wendy Hartmann, Esq.


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