Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-10-07
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


Reports of tax confusion for civil union couples
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Just days before tax deadlines hit, many Illinois civil union couples are reporting confusion over filing taxes this year, according to 14th Dist. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy.

Cassidy hosted an information session on civil unions and taxes at Center on Halsted April 10, she said, because constituents had been asking her for answers on the new tax rules. When Cassidy herself struggled to answer them, she arranged the information session.

"If one person is calling about a problem, hundreds of people are having it," said Cassidy.

Approximately 20 people attended the session, and many seemed to leave more confused than when they came.

That is because in addition to filing jointly for the first time, civil union couples in Illinois cannot file electronically and must file two differing federal returns.

Cassidy said she worries that process is so new and confusing for civil union couples that most need professional advice to file this year.

"There are obvious wrinkles," said Cassidy. "There are going to be people who run afoul of this innocently."

Cassidy said she is "deeply concerned" that civil union couples do not know they must file as married this year.

That is a change from an earlier policy announced by the Department of Revenue (IDOR). Initially, IDOR said that civil union couples could not file jointly in Illinois because Illinois tax returns are based on federal returns. The Defense of Marriage Act prevents recognition of civil union spouses federally. As a consequence, IDOR said it would not allow civil union couples to file jointly.

LGBT advocates opposed that policy, and it was reversed. Now, civil union couples, which includes couples married out-of-state, must file as married and note their civil union statuses.

Because of DOMA, those couples will have to file both a single federal return with the IRS and a mock federal return that notes civil union status with the state. As a result, the couples cannot file electronically, a fact that surprised some who attended the information session.

"The burdens come with the benefits," said Brian Fliflet, deputy general counsel for IDOR.

Among the burdens is that spouses who receive partner benefits will have to have their employers calculate two different totals of their earnings: one for the state, which acknowledges the union, and one for the federal government, which will tax such benefits.

"That's an extra step you're going to have to take," said Fliflet. "You're going to have to go to your employer and ask them because they're not going to do it for you."

But specific questions get hairier for some who anticipated filing separately and did not plan for the bump in owed taxes or penalties as a result of having their civil unions acknowledged later in the game.

Attendees at the information session, expressed frustration with the process, which they said it has been unfair. Others wondered aloud how they would file by paper mail on short notice.

Asked if civil union spouses will be able to file electronically next year, Fliflet said "hopefully."

Sue Hofer, a spokesperson for IDOR, said that likely depends on fate of DOMA. IDOR has yet to figure out how to create a system that allows one to enter the mock federal return in addition to version sent to the IRS.

Cassidy, like others, said she just learned that civil union couples must file by paper mail, but she said the fault is not on the state.

The bottom line, she said, is the federal government has created a two-tiered system, one in which the state and federal calculations can never agree unless DOMA is overturned.

"It really speaks to the reason why we need to go all the way to marriage equality," she said.

Specifics on civil unions and tax filing are available at The number for the IDOR hotline is 1-800-732-8866. The TDD (telecommunication device for the deaf) number is 1-800-544-5304.

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


2015 CRFC Bill of Rights in Action award goes to marriage plaintiffs 2015-10-07
Lambda Legal expands LGBT youth advocacy 2015-10-07
Detroit mourns loss of community member 2015-10-06
Lambda expands work for LGBT youth: Ingelhart joins Midwest Regional Office 2015-10-04
Plaintiff in Supreme Court case Obergefell writes open letter to Kim Davis 2015-10-01
Chicago domestic violence service providers call for Springfield to stop cuts 2015-09-30
Lambda to 7th Circuit: Law prohibits discrimination against lesbian instructor 2015-09-30
ACLU of Illinois' legal director stepping down 2015-09-30
National: Clergy and Black Lives Matter; lawsuit; Grindr felony 2015-09-29
Anti-LGBT pizzeria caters gay wedding 2015-09-29
Pope says government officials can refuse to issue licenses 2015-09-28
World: Marriage stalled; pro-LGBT move in Nepal; rugby partnership 2015-09-23
Bully Project uses film, education, litigation to assist schools 2015-09-23
Obergefell to speak in Chicago Oct. 17 2015-09-23
Gov't: Ireland will recognize marriage 2015-09-23
Ode to My Husband 2015-09-23
ACLU: Rowan County Clerk's Office failed to follow court orders 2015-09-21
Law protecting the vulnerable may conflict with laws in IL municipalities 2015-09-21
Commission finds in favor of downstate couple 2015-09-19
Nepal ratifies new constitution that includes LGBT protections 2015-09-18
Long time ACLU leader Harvey Grossman moves to Senior Counsel role 2015-09-18
Illinois rights commission says B&B violated law in treatment of gay couple 2015-09-17
Court: Fired transgender woman can sue rormer employer for sex discrimination 2015-09-16
Jim Obergefell 2015 HRC Chicago Gala speaker 2015-09-16
Relationships & the Law Today: Importance of estate planning 2015-09-16
HHS proposed rule would cover anti-trans discrimination 2015-09-16
THEATER REVIEW Katrina: Mother-in- Law of 'em All 2015-09-16
National: Pro-LGBT ordinances; Cleveland assault; Hip Chick honor 2015-09-15
Australia ousts Prime Minister who stood in way of marriage equality 2015-09-14
Lambda to Wisconsin court: Act fast in case for accurate birth certificates 2015-09-13
Judge releases Kim Davis, order instructs she not interfere 2015-09-08
U.S. District Court releases Kentucky clerk from custody 2015-09-08
Judge dismisses Ohio woman's fertility clinic lawsuit 2015-09-04
Kentucky clerk jailed; couple get license 2015-09-04
Kentucky clerk refusing licenses ordered jailed 2015-09-03
Saturday Boystown action for decriminalization of sex work in Rentboy raid aftermath 2015-09-03
RFRA laws subject of latest MAP report 2015-09-02
National: Ashley Madison and Grindr; RentBoy; Facebook apology 2015-09-01
Report looks at implications of religious exemption laws 2015-09-01
Supreme Court denies KY County Clerk's request to refuse marriage licenses 2015-08-31

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.