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State of California Franchise Tax Board

Tax law change for registered domestic partnerships

California enacted SB 1827 as law, beginning January 1, 2007, which requires registered domestic partners to use the same filing status as married couples. For their 2007 tax returns, most registered domestic partners will use either married filing joint or married filing separate filing status (applying the same rules applicable to spouses). In preparation for this new law, registered domestic partners may want to update withholdings or estimated tax payments for their 2007 tax return that will be filed in 2008. To adjust your withholding, go to

Federal law does not recognize registered domestic partners. Registered domestic partners will remain individual filers for federal purposes. Where preparation of a California return relies on a federal return or federal law, registered domestic partners may need to perform special calculations to arrive at the proper California tax.

On Thursday, November 30, 2006, FTB held a focus group meeting with interested stakeholders to discuss technical issues that may require special calculations or rules for registered domestic partners filing California tax returns. Get the agenda and meeting notes here.

As we would like to fully understand all issues that may affect registered domestic partners filing California tax returns, please provide us with any comments or questions that you may have.

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