• Rhode Island: Division of Taxation Issues Tax Guidance Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Law
  • September 18, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • On September 6, 2013, the Rhode Island Division of Taxation (the “Division”) stated in an Advisory (ADV 2013-20) (the “Advisory”) that same-sex couples married in Rhode Island on or after August 1, 2013, will be recognized as married couples for purposes of Rhode Island income tax. This guidance is in response to the legislation that was approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Lincoln D. Chafee on May 2, 2013, which generally allows couples to marry regardless of gender.
    The Advisory explains that if a same-sex couple is married as of the last day of the calendar year and the marriage meets Rhode Island’s statutory requirements, then such same-sex married couple will be able to claim a “married filing jointly” filing status on their Rhode Island personal income tax returns for 2013 and subsequent tax years.
    The Division also issued a 15 page frequently asked questions sheet providing additional guidance on questions that may arise as a result of this new law, including such topics as:

    • The filing status that a same-sex couple must use;
    • Matters related to filing amended tax returns to claim a married filing status if such same-sex couple was previously married in another state;
    • How employee benefits provided to a same-sex spouse will be treated for income tax purposes; and
    • The manner in which a same-sex married couple should calculate their Rhode Island tax return.

    The Rhode Island Tax Administrator, David M. Sullivan, stated in the Advisory that as a result of this new law, “effective August 1, 2013, from a Rhode Island tax perspective, same-sex married couples will have the same rights - and responsibilities - that formerly applied only to opposite-sex married couples.”