Tax Issues of RDPs and Marriages

Same-sex couples in Washington State can apply for marriage licenses as of December 6, 2012. Washington State has strong community property laws. As with Registered Domestic Partners, the IRS has determined that legally recognized same-sex spouses must report their share of community income on their individual federal tax returns. The IRS continues to apply community property laws to all Washington married and RDP couples, with community property “income splitting” for RDPs and same-sex spouses.

RDPs and same-sex spouses file differently from opposite-sex spouses because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still in place at the federal level, which does not legally recognize Registered Domestic Partnerships or same-sex marriages.

This information has come to GSBA through our members and the legal, tax-accounting and financial community. Your GSBA legal, tax-accounting and financial professionals have held regular roundtable discussions under the GSBA Public Policy Task Force on these issues over the last two years. PLEASE be sure to consult with your own legal and tax-accounting professionals about the IRS’s determination for Washington State same-sex couples and how exactly individual partners in a state-recognized marriage and registered domestic partnership are directly impacted.

Tax, legal and financial professionals on the GSBA Public Policy Task Force have come up with several important resources for couples to consult.


GSBA Online Directory – Find LGBT and allied legal, tax and financial professionals who can help answer your questions

GSBA - Ann and Jane and Taxes – Single versus Same-Sex Married Couple PDF

Legal Voice – “Questions and Answers: Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Washington” PDF

IRS Publication 555 Community Property PDF

Santa Clara Law Blog on Same – Sex Couple Tax issues.