Assuming a state does not opt to recognize same-sex marriage by next year, viable options include:
* permitting taxpayers to reference a “dummy” federal return reflecting single filing status for their state return,
*or permitting taxpayers to “split” a joint federal return down the middle, using one-half for each single state return,
* or creating a new filing status permitting any taxpayer that files a joint federal return to file a joint state return, especially if the state presently recognizes civil unions or domestic partnerships.
An option that should not be considered is to “delink,” or “decouple,” the state’s tax code from the federal tax code. Such a step would impose huge compliance costs on nearly all state taxpayers and potentially cause economic damage. Such a response would be disproportionate since other viable options are available.
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