Since the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage, these couples are viewed as strangers in many parts of their financial lives. They need to file separate federal tax returns, for instance. However, sometimes our partnerships can provide certain advantages. Take the adoption tax credit. If you adopt your spouse’s child, you cannot claim the credit. But since same-sex married couples are not considered spouses under federal law, they are permitted to use the credit – at least until their unions are recognized. The credit, which is for as much as $13,360 in 2011, can only be used once. So if two men, two women, or two other unmarried people adopt a nonbiological child, only one adoptive parent can claim the entire credit or they can split it.
The I.R.S. said that any taxpayers who feel that they were improperly denied the credit should contact the I.R.S. And if you need more assistance, you can also contact advocacy organizations like the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which may be able to provide more guidance.