On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on the constitutionality of section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had established a federal definition of marriage. Following the Court’s decision, the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17. The ruling states that a marriage between same-gender individuals performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes this type of union will now be recognized for federal income tax purposes. As a result, same-gender married couples may file joint federal income tax returns on or after September 16, 2013 even if they are married in a jurisdiction whose laws do not recognize a same-gender marriage.

Tax Filing for Same-Sex Married Couples Living in Ohio

Under Article XV §11 of the Ohio Constitution, Ohio does not recognize marriage between those of the same gender. Individuals who entered into a same-sex marriage in another jurisdiction may not use the filing status of “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately” when filing Form IT 1040. Each individual must instead file an Ohio return in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • File a separate Ohio income tax return using Form IT 1040 and check the box on the first page indicating that Schedule IT S (explained further below) will be filed.
  • Use the filing status of “single” or, if qualified, “head of household”.
  • Complete Ohio Schedule IT-S, Federal AGI to be Reported by Same-Gender Taxpayers Filing a Joint Federal Return, which is a supplement to Form IT 1040. This is a schedule on which individuals should allocate the federal adjusted gross income (“federal AGI”) reported on their joint federal income tax return. The Schedule enables each individual to determine federal AGI using the filing status of “single” or “head of household”. These amounts will be reported as the individuals’ federal AGI for Ohio purposes including, but not limited to, on line 1 of the IT 1040. One Schedule IT-S shall be completed and a copy submitted with each individual’s IT 1040 return. The Schedule and instructions will be available online at http://www.tax.ohio.gov/Forms.aspx.
  • Taxable year 2013 returns may be filed electronically using Ohio electronic filing services at www.tax.ohio.gov or by paper. Original returns for taxable years 2012 and prior must be filed via paper. Taxpayers may not file any of these returns using Form IT 1040EZ or TeleFile.

Although the IRS Revenue Ruling allows same-gender couples to file amended federal returns to change filing status to “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately”, no corresponding Ohio amended returns may be filed to change filing status for prior years.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact me or one of the members of our Tax Consulting Team or visit www.tax.ohio.gov for more information.