Thursday, October 15, 2009

My First Joint

I just mailed in Chris' and my Oregon Income Taxes (on the last possible day, of course). It's the first time we've ever filed a joint tax return. It's a tedious bit of bureaucratic hassle, but one that reflects a shift in cultural attitudes toward gays and lesbians in America. It's weird - paying my taxes has never seemed so historic.

The main problem for Registered Domestic Partners (RDPs) filing jointly in Oregon is that the feds don't allow us to file married and the state doesn't allow us to file single, so we have to come up with a work-around:

- We each have separate 1040s prepared as 'single filing separately' (like we always have) to file with the feds.

- We have a 'married filing jointly' 1040 prepared to be included with our state return, but it is not actually filed. This is the "as if" return (seriously, they really refer to is as the "as if" return on the official on-line instructions - I find that funny for some reason).

- We mail in our state return with copies of all three 1040's with the phrases "RDP - As Filed" (for the individual copies) or "RDP - For Oregon Only" (for the 'as if' copy) stamped in red on each page of the return.

- If RDPs file "married filing separately", they still must send in their separate returns in the same envelope, but not stapled together (but you could put them in a binder clip - it would be 'as if' stapled).

I'm really grateful that I work at a tax office, because I wouldn't have wanted to figure this out on my own. Also, ours is not the first RDP return I've had to process, so I'm grateful to the first RDPs whose return I processed for helping me work out the details.

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