Executive Director, The Civil Rights Agenda
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2013 • Illinois – The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), the leading and largest Illinois Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, has learned that The Illinois Department of Revenue announced changes to tax preparation for couples in a civil union. Couples in a civil union may now file their taxes electronically. Additionally, there is a new Schedule that must be filed when the taxes are prepared,Schedule CU. Because the federal government does not recognize civil unions, couples cannot file joint federal tax returns, so each partner in a civil union must prepare their tax returns twice.
"Taxes are such a headache and that is especially true if you are in a civil union," said Anthony Martinez, Executive Director of The Civil Rights Agenda. "We received a large amount of calls and emails last year asking about filing taxes when a couple is in a civil union. The process is complicated and lengthy and includes the couple doing their taxes twice, once as if they were single and once as if they were married. The process also creates a large amount of unique paperwork. ,We are pleased that the Department has taken steps to ease the burden of filing taxes when you are in a civil union. Hopefully, the new Schedule will make a painstaking process a little bit easier."
“The fact that there has to be a special schedule created for couples in civil union highlights that civil unions are not equal to marriage,” stated Rick Garcia, Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project and Senior Policy Advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda “The couples file their Illinois taxes as if they are married, but then have to use a special schedule that creates extra steps. Although these changes are welcome, we still must point out that civil unions are a separate institution from marriage and do not provide the same rights or responsibilities."
As TCRA reported earlier this year, there are 5,185 couples in civil union throughout Illinois.
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