Scott James describes the hell that filing taxes as a gay couple can entail:
In California, as registered domestic partners, we are required by state law to file a joint state tax return as a couple. However, the IRS forbids us from doing the same thing on the federal level. As a result, we must spend thousands of dollars on accounting fees each year to have our taxes done in a hinky fix that the IRS recently dreamt up: we must combine our incomes, split that money, and then file separate returns.
But since we aren’t related to each other (in the federal government’s eyes), the IRS did not create a form or system to allow couples to actually comply with this mandate. So far we’ve followed these IRS tax rules twice. One year our returns sailed through, no problem. But for another year’s returns we were both accused of cheating on our taxes. We’ve been fined and threatened (one bigoted IRS worker in even shared with me his personal disdain for gay couples), and we cannot get the matter resolved. Our plea for help from the Taxpayer Advocate’s office has been repeatedly ignored. So far this has cost us more than $20,000.