Illinois to let 3,700 civil-union couples file tax returns
Gov. Pat Quinn (pic) signed the state’s civil union law in January ’11. That bill included the right to decide medical care for an ailing partner and the right to inherit property, but it didn’t include the ability for same-sex couples to file a joint tax return. In the first 6 months, 3,700 couples have filed for civil union licenses in Illinois. Starting in January ’12, Illinois will allow couples who obtained civil-union licenses this year to file joint state income tax returns, a symbolic change that likely won’t save couples money. IL became the seventh state, along with DC, to give same-sex couples significant legal protections. While federal law does not allow same-sex couples to submit taxes together, Quinn pushed for the state to make the change after signing the civil union bill, Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Susan Hofer said recently. “This was basically the governor saying, ‘Find a way to make this work’,” she said.