Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Gay Couples’ Tax-Season Nightmares Continue

Some married couples must file five returns this year
Get ready for a lot of extra paperwork.

Get ready for a lot of extra paperwork.

Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Tonya Keith typically spends four to eight hours doing her taxes each year. This year, she says, “I’ve got about 30 hours in, and I’m not done.” The reason: She and her wife got married last year in Seattle, but they live in Georgia, which doesn’t recognize their marriage.

This tax season is particularly bitter for gays and lesbians who live in states that still don’t recognize same-sex marriage. After decades together, many are filing their first joint tax returns. In a growing number of states, this is easy: An additional 20 states have legalized same-sex marriage since the beginning of 2014. But in Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, and nine other states, gay couples are still treated as legal strangers. They face extra paperwork, heftier tax-prep fees, and tax questions that puzzle even the experts. Relief could come from the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule by June whether gays and lesbians have a right to marry. Taxes, however, are due by April 15.