In response to recent updates on the legal status of same-sex marriage, the NC Department of Revenue has issued a Directive. This Directive replaces the last one on this topic, which advised same-sex couples to file jointly federally and as single for NC State. The new Directive allows for same-sex couples that are legally married in any state by December 31, 2014 to file a North Carolina tax return using the same filing status claimed on the federal income tax return. This rule only applies to couples that are legally married, not to those in domestic partnerships or civil unions.
There is another rule in this Directive that states “if one spouse is a nonresident individual and has no North Carolina taxable income for the tax year, the spouse that is a resident of North Carolina or has North Carolina taxable income may elect to file a return as married filing separately.” These rule changes can also be applied retroactively for the past 3 years. You should consult with your accountant to verify the accuracy of your tax filings.
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