A decision reached Monday, November 28, 2011 will alter the tax lives of same-sex couples in the state of Illinois next year. According to ChicagoPride.com, gay and lesbian couples in Illinois civil unions will be able to file their taxes 2011 jointly just as married spouses are currently allowed.
Residents of Illinois pay a flat 5 percent tax regardless of marital status, so gay and lesbian couples won’t save money.
Civil unions have been offered in Illinois since June of this year.
“This victory is not about financial gain for same-sex civil union couples, but it’s about making sure that they get all the benefits, protections, rights, and responsibilities that married couples get,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.
“It is always a positive step forward when Illinois grants further relationship recognition at another state agency,” said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda.
Illinois joins nine other states and Washington, D.C. to become the 10th state to allow same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns. The federal government does not recognize gay marriage or civil unions so same-sex couples will still have to file their federal tax returns separately.