Same Sex Couples Filing Jointly in 2014

For the first time in US history, same-sex couples can file federal taxes jointly just like heterosexual married couples in the US. This is the outcome of a ruling by the US Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor, where a same-sex marriage was recognized by the US federal government for the first time as a basis for a same-sex spouse being eligible for recognition under federal law.

Filing in 2014

This year, same-sex spouses can apply to file federal taxes just like a married couple filing jointly. In order to be eligible for this status, there are a few prerequisites:

  1. The marriage must have occurred either in 2013 or in a prior year;
  2. The marriage must have occurred in a jurisdiction either in the US or abroad;
  3. The jurisdiction of marriage must recognize same-sex marriage;
  4. However, same sex couples in a civil union or domestic partnerships, are not eligible to file taxes jointly as a married couple. They are still unmarried individuals for federal tax purposes.

Takeaway

Filing jointly could be a smart choice because of lower tax implications of joint filing.

See also:

See you in my next blog.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Immigration Attorney
St. Louis, Missouri

The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.

Tara Mahadevan

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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USCIS Implements Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices

Starting September 9, 2013, if you are appearing for an interview or applying, or receiving evidence of an immigration benefit, you will be fingerprinted and photographed. This process is in addition to the biometrics check you may have already attended prior to the interview at the USCIS office.

USCIS is calling this new verification tool Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its domestic field offices. The repeat biometrics could be taken at the info-pass windows of the USCIS office.

How It Works

After a customer is cleared through security, a USCIS officer will electronically scan two fingerprints and photograph the customer in order to verify their identity. CIV is only done for those customers who have an interview or are being issued evidence of an immigration benefit.

How It Helps

CIV is supposed to confirm identity and thereby reduce identity switching or theft. USCIS claims that the process will aid USCIS in verifying a customer’s identity, and improve and streamline the immigration system, while also fighting identity fraud.

However, none of my clients whom I accompanied to their interview were asked by USICS to be fingerprinted. That does not prevent USCIS from implementing the scheme more broadly in the future.

See you in my next blog.

Nalini S Mahadevan, JD, MBA
Immigration Attorney
St. Louis, Missouri

The information is not meant to create a client-attorney relationship. This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Situations may differ based on the facts.

Tara Mahadevan

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

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