My boyfriend and I want to file a joint return

March 25, 2015 by Dave Du Val, EA
Woman

Hey Dave,

My boyfriend and I have been living together for nine years. Can we file a joint tax return this year?

Isabelle

 

Isabelle,

Whether you and your boyfriend are considered to be “married” is a matter of state law, and the law is different for different states. If you live together in a common-law marriage recognized by the state where your marriage began, the IRS considers you to be married and allows you to file a joint return. Keep in mind, however, that no state law uses seven years (a common myth) as the final decision to be considered married.

The states that currently recognize common law marriages are: Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.  New Hampshire recognizes common law marriages for inheritance purposes only. You can also add the District of Columbia to the list even though it is not a state.

You should contact a legal authority in your state for a definitive answer to this question for your specific state.

Deductibly Yours,

Dave

Tags: joint return

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David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco

 

Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


 

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