Declaring Your Correct Filing Status is Not Lying

Declaring Your Correct Filing Status is Not Lying

Share this

From Paul Caron:

An organization called Refuse to Lie is recommending that gay couples whose marriages are recognized under state law but not for federal tax purposes because of the Defense of Marriage Act file their federal tax returns as single taxpayers but attach this disclaimer (detailed tax memo here):

Attachment to Federal Tax Return Affirming Marriage

The above named taxpayer married a person of his/her same sex in [place] in [year]. The taxpayer has not filed this return as “married” (either jointly or separately) solely because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. By filing as “single,” the taxpayer is in no way disavowing his/her marriage.

(Hat Tip: Jeremy Bearer-Friend, Francine Lipman.)

Of course, a person isn’t lying when he declares his filing status to be single even though he happens to be married to someone of his own sex because under the law that is his correct filing status. On the other hand, he would be lying if he declared his status to be married filing jointly. But I get the point.

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida


  1. Federal law is pretty clear about this but what about State law? California requires same-sex married couples to file MFJ. I would not hold it above the background checkers of the world to see the Federal/State discrepancy and make a snap judgment to disqualify them for lying on a return with a jurat.

    Of course, that probably says something more about the state of requiring background checks done by the lowest bidder for something as menial as breathing air…

  2. Breathing air is the opposite of menial. If you don’t do it, you die.

  3. Because of the decision in Gill v OPM same sex married couples have at least a reasonable basis for filing a joint return. There is also a refund opportunity for some.