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California Recognizes Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

On October 11, 2009, the Governor signed Senate Bill 54, which provides that a marriage between two persons who have entered into a same-sex marriage outside the State of California prior to November 5, 2008, that was valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted, is valid in California. The bill also provides that a marriage between two persons who have entered into a same-sex marriage outside of California on or after November 5, 2008, that was valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted have the same rights and responsibilities as spouses with the sole exception of the designation of "marriage."

Consequently, beginning in taxable year 2010, persons who have entered into a same-sex marriage outside of California that is valid according to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted must file their California income tax return using either the joint or separate filing status.

If your client entered into a same-sex marriage outside of California, they may need to modify their withholding or estimated tax payments for taxable year 2010 in anticipation of this change.

For more tax information for same-sex married couples, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for Pub 776.

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