Questions & Answers

What are South Carolina's policies on same-sex marriage for tax returns?

As a result of recent court decisions same-sex marriages that are recognized for federal income tax purposes are now required to be recognized by South Carolina for income tax purposes. Accordingly, same-sex couples who are legally married under any state law must file their South Carolina income tax returns as a married couple - either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately depending on their filing status for federal income tax purposes for the taxable year.

A same-sex married couple who filed a federal income tax return using a married filing status (Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately) and South Carolina income tax returns using a single filing status (Single or Head of Household) in a previous taxable year may amend their South Carolina income tax returns to change their filing status to a married filing status for any taxable years within the applicable statutory time limitation.

Same-sex Marriage Questions and Answers

  1. Must legally married same-sex couples file their South Carolina income tax return using a married filing status?
    Yes, beginning with tax year 2014, same-sex couples who are legally married under state law during the taxable year must file their South Carolina income tax return as Married Filing Jointly or as Married Filing Separately depending on how the couple filed their federal income tax return for that year.

  2. If a same-sex couple is in a domestic partnership, civil union, or long-term relationship, but not legally married, can they file a South Carolina income tax return using a married filing status?
    No, only a couple who is legally married under state law can file a South Carolina income tax return using a married filing status.

  3. If a same-sex couple was legally married in a state other than South Carolina, are they considered married for South Carolina income tax purposes?
    Yes.

  4. If a same-sex couple was legally married prior to 2014, can they amend their South Carolina income tax returns filed for previous taxable years to change to a married filing status?
    Yes, a same-sex couple legally married before 2014 may amend their South Carolina income tax returns for any taxable year within the statutory time limitations to change to a married filing status. However, in order to file an amended South Carolina income tax return using a married filing status for a particular taxable year, the couple must have been legally married during that year and have filed a federal income tax return using the same married filing status for that year.

  5. If a same-sex couple filed South Carolina income tax returns using a single filing status for a previous taxable year during which they were legally married, are they now required to file an amended South Carolina income tax return for the purpose of changing their filing status for that year?
    No.

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