Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

September 11, 2013

‘Celebration’ rule may help same-sex couples

TAHLEQUAH — Filing federal and state income taxes can be dicey in some of the simplest situations, and this year, same-sex couples may find the process particularly complicated.

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that, beginning with the 2014 tax filing season, they will use a “state of celebration” rule for recognizing marriages.

According to Dr. John Yeutter, certified professional accountant and associate professor of accounting at Northeastern State University, as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision U.S. vs. Windsor, the federal government recognizes all marriages recognized by states, sovereign tribes or foreign countries.

While Oklahoma does not recognize or allow same-sex marriage, Oklahomans who were married legally in states permitting such unions will now be able to take advantage of the federal law.

“This applies to all federal programs, including Social Security and taxes,” said Yeutter. “As I understand it, this can be applied retroactively, so a married couple can file amended returns for all open years. This is usually the prior three years. This can, and should, be done immediately.”

According to a report by taxfoundation.org, same-sex couples who live in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages will need guidance on how to prepare state income tax returns, as they will differ greatly from the federal return.

Viable options include permitting taxpayers to reference a “dummy” federal return reflecting single filing status for their state return; permitting taxpayers to split a joint federal return down the middle, using one-half for each single state return; or creating a new filing status permitting any taxpayer that files a joint return, especially if the state presently recognizes civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Yeutter said it will be key for same-sex couples who have been legally married to seek help before filing any sort of amended return.

“The IRS website does not provide any model language for the amended returns,” said Yeutter. “A tax professional can assist, particularly with filing amended returns.”

The tax foundation indicated it will be particularly important for same-sex couples to not consider “delinking” or “decoupling” the state’s tax code from the federal tax code.

“Such a step would impose huge compliance costs on nearly all state taxpayers and potentially cause economic damage,” wrote Joseph Henchman for taxfoundation.org. “Such a response would be disproportionate since other viable options are available.”

Twenty-four states do not recognize same-sex marriages, but do require state taxpayers to reference federal returns on state documents, including: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucy, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin now has a new form to deal with same-sex marriages, despite not recognizing the unions for state income tax purposes.

“Same-sex individuals who file a joing federal income tax return must complete a new Wisconsin form, Schedule S, Allocation of Income to be Reported by Same Sex Couples Filing a Joint Federal Return,” said Phil Rosencranz, of TAX-LITC, in an email. “Schedule S shows the amount of income as reported on the federal return that is allocable to each individual, and determines the federal adjusted gross income to be used for Wisconsin tax purposes. Wisconsin marital property law does not apply to this allocation.”

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

To learn more about how the IRS is handling tax returns for same-sex couples, visit www.tahlequahTDP.com/on lineexclusives.

1
Text Only
Features
  • RF-award-dogs-2.jpg Red Fern Festival offers family fun

    Tahlequah’s Red Fern Festival offers attendees a stroll back in time to old-fashioned family fun.
    It’s a way to show children how their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents lived and played, and tell stories about, “the good ol’ days.” And it’s a way to enjoy what is best about life in Tahlequah, for many folks, including spending quality time as a family, enjoying sunshine, and chatting with old friends and perhaps meeting new ones.
    The event, slated for the last weekend in April since 2007, has brought the best of the novel, “Where The Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls, to downtown, since the movie was filmed here.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • wherearethey.jpg Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood

    As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
    In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
    Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Dream1.jpg Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters

    Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
    For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
    Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
    In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
    The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals

    One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.

    April 17, 2014

  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Stocks