Chat with an FTB Representative

Changes to 2010 Forms

Updates to the Publication 776 on 03/25/2011 — Tax information for Same-Sex Married Couples

We added text to Publication 776:

  1. Page 1, Purpose, Paragraph 2
  2. Page 2, Column 1, below number 1

Previous Version

  1. Purpose

    This publication is primarily to assist same-sex married couples (SSMC) in filing their California income tax returns, if they have SSMC adjustments. We have also included information about the legal history of SSMC and community property that may be useful in completing the tax return.

  2. If you do not have any SSMC adjustments:

    1. Combine federal Form 1040, line 37 from each individual federal Form 1040 filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and transfer the combined amount to Form 540, 540A, or 540NR (Long or Short), line 13.

Revised Version

  1. Purpose

    This publication is primarily to assist same-sex married couples (SSMC) in filing their California income tax returns, if they have SSMC adjustments. We have also included information about the legal history of SSMC and community property that may be useful in completing the tax return.

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in federal Publication 555, Community Property, and in the instructions for federal Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, states that a person in California who is married to a person of the same-sex must follow state community property laws and report half the combined community income of the individual and his or her same-sex spouse on their federal income return. For more information, see federal Publication 555.

    Community income laws do not change the SSMC’s federal filing status. For federal purposes, individuals in California who are married to an individual of the same-sex will continue to use the single or head of household filing status.

  2. If you do not have any SSMC adjustments:

    1. Combine federal Form 1040, line 37 from each individual federal Form 1040 filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and transfer the combined amount to Form 540, 540A, or 540NR (Long or Short), line 13.

    Note: SSMCs who split their community income on their federal tax return and have no SSMC adjustments may use this method.

Reason for the changes

The IRS has stated that they will treat a California same-sex married couple (SSMC) in the same manner as a registered domestic partner (RDP) couple. IRS Publication 555 was revised February 24, 2011 and states:

  • A California same-sex married couple must split income based on community property;
  • Community property rules apply to RDP and same-sex married couples using the same rules as opposite-sex married couples – not only is earned income subject to community property rules but so are other assets that were purchased with community income;
  • Withholding must be split but estimated tax may not be split; and
  • For RDPs and California same-sex couples, splitting income is required for 2010 but optional for 2007-2009, assuming the years are open.

Impact

There is no tax impact for California.

Back to Tax Form Changes for 2010