File Your Taxes Early (and Often!)

On our way to our Chicago wedding. Photo © Starbelly Studios.

It’s the Chicago way. No, it’s not really, that’s voting. I just stole it because this year, our taxes are… very special. You see, a while back, we got married (not legally) in Chicago. And then we went to Boston, and got married (legally) again. Which was/is awesome but come tax time, we were still considered single by both the Federal and State governments. So last year, we begrudgingly filed our taxes as single people, with a disclosure statement to the effect that we were really married, and they weren’t recognizing it, and the fact that we were filing as single did not in any way mean we were denying the existence of our marriage.

But this year? This year, Illinois passed a law enacting Civil Unions. So, our¬†Massachusetts¬†marriage license gives us an automatic civil union here (yay!) which means… we are single when it comes to Federal taxes, but (kind of) married when it comes to the state version. So, we each got to do our taxes twice – once as single people for our actual filing with the Federal government, and then all over again using the married filing status so that we could take that dummy Federal form to complete our Illinois form as actual married people. And we probably should have done it both as married filing jointly and married filing separately to make sure we were choosing the less expensive option, but we didn’t. Because that would have been doing them THREE SEPARATE TIMES, and just – NO. Oh, yeah, and we’re an LLC, so we have business tax forms to complete as well. All of which means we have spent an inordinate amount of time on taxes this year. (But they are DONE! DONE DONE DONE! Pending review by our accountant, anyway.)

Our legal wedding in Boston's Public Garden

So, dear governments and homophobic people, I must ask you this: Exactly how many times do we need to get married before we can file our taxes jointly? Because twice, apparently, is not enough. Can we please just get marriage equality on both state and federal levels before the next tax season rolls around? Because next year we might have an employee and payroll tax, and the year after that there may be children to consider. And if I have to do it three different ways on top of all that, I may end up in jail for tax evasion or a mental institution. Look – it’s going to happen sooner or later anyway – why don’t we go with sooner and save a lot of people a lot of hassle, ok? Ok. I promise to throw a kickass party to celebrate the day when I can say I’m married, without any qualifications.