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Same-Sex Married Couples

Beginning with the 2008 taxable year, same-sex married couples (SSMC) were required to file their California income tax return using either the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status. For federal purposes they were required to file their federal income tax return using the single or head of household filing status.

FTB Publication 776, Tax Information for Same Sex Married Couples, provided information and guidance to allow an SSMC to file their married filing jointly or married filing separately California income tax return using information from their individual federal income tax returns filed using the single or head of household filing status.

On June 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court in ”United States v. Windsor” determined that key provisions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act were invalid. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ruled that SSMCs legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriage will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.

Legally married same-sex couples generally must file their 2013 federal income tax return using either the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status. California taxpayers are generally required to use the same filing status that they used for federal tax purposes. Because SSMCs must file both federal and California income tax returns using the same filing status, no federal/California differences exist for SSMCs. Therefore, FTB Publication 776 is no longer needed and will be obsolete beginning with the 2013 taxable year.