For same-sex couples in California, Washington and Nevada, preparing tax returns for 2010 became more complicated because of a new IRS ruling that applies to community property states. The new ruling requires couples to combine community income yet file separate federal tax returns. When you add other variables such as itemized deductions, investment income, rentals, etc. the difficulty increases.
Intuit’s TurboTax originally announced they would revise their software to accommodate the new IRS guidelines but decided they cannot do so in time for filing by April 18. They now recommend couples seek a tax professional for return preparation. The company said the guidelines weren’t published until February and they were unable to modify the software fast enough.
Because there are many “gray” areas in the new guidelines, seeking professionals with experience filing these types of tax returns gives you the opportunity to discuss your specific situation and how it might be handled. But don’t be surprised if you get a difference of opinion. This is all very new and issuing guidelines in February 2011 for 2010 tax returns doesn’t allow a lot of time for review.