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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

By Kathy Burlison

Gay or straight, love is not always permanent. Couples, married or not, go their separate ways. It may be that you flew to Boston with the love of your life in May of 2004. You got married to celebrate the new available legal marriage status for same sex partners. That was years ago. Your love didn’t last a lifetime and you’ve long gone your separate ways.

The Boston marriage is a distant memory that you remember fondly as a whirlwind of sightseeing, seafood, and romance. But otherwise you never think of it – you’re single now.

You may be living as a single (or as a cope with someone new) but for tax purposes you are still married to the old love of your life unless you’ve somehow managed to get legally divorced.

How Do You File?

Starting with your 2013 tax return, you will have to file using the rules for married taxpayers. Unless there are kids in your home, you’ll file married filing separately. If you’re providing a home for your children or certain other relatives, you may qualify to file as single or head of household.

Until you get legally divorced (which may be more difficult than getting legally married), you’ll have to determine your filing status using the rules for married taxpayers.