Tax preparation software -- which ones are queer friendly?

I'm asking people to help me with some research. As you start to prepare your taxes, please check and see what options your software offers for people who are married in Massachusetts only (thus have a federal "single" status and a state "joint" status).

Please post in comments or e-mail me and let me know:
1. Name of software (URL would be great)
2. Whether there's a specific option for "state filing status is different from federal"
3. If not, whether you can submit different returns by just going back and clicking on the other status, or whether you have to re-enter the entire return
4. Most importantly: if the software doesn't have a specific option for people with different filing statuses, find out if the software is going to require you to pay twice in order to submit a state return that isn't based off of the federal one, or is going to require an additional step like printing it out the state return and mailing it

If you are unable to tell how your software would handle a filer with two different filing statuses, please call or e-mail the support folks to ask.

When doing so, please do me a favor and simply ask them how to enter a tax return for a filer who is filing as married for state purposes and as single for federal purposes.

Then make note of whether the representative was immediately aware that this refers to same-sex couples in Massachusetts, or whether the person was ignorant of the Massachusetts issue and told you that the statuses can't be different, or told you that it's illegal to file with two different statuses.

Once you've determined whether they were aware of the issue before you called, try to find out how willing they are to solve the issue. Will they refund the duplicate filing fee if their setup required one? Try to determine whether the system has an honest glitch that they're apologetic about, or whether they're unconcerned. It should be possible to get these answers without having to actually be a married couple.

If will follow up with some sort of overview of "good" and "bad" companies on my site, and will also follow up with the companies.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suggest you file as single and avoid the marriage penalty. This is perfectly legal since Massachusetts uses the Federal Tax forms as a basis for their taxes.

While it is all well and good to want to pay the same taxes, I will, when they treat all same sex couples AND opposite sex couples alike. Until then I plan on getting every tax break that is available to me.

eeka said...

Oh, I haven't decided how I'm going to file, but I want to do this research.

Anonymous said...

GLAD might have a software recommendation.

The advice to file as single seems unwise. It's not a good idea for a legally married person to indicate otherwise on legal documents, right?

File as married for state; file as single with an attached explanation for federal.

eeka said...

Yes, GLAD says to attach something indicating that you are not single:

http://www.glad.org/rights/taxes_for_married_couples.

I can see the value in this, but dude, if anyone tries to sue me or deny me rights or anything, basing it on my alleged assertion on my tax form that I'm not married, uh, I certainly hope I'll have a really solid case, seeing how I have a legal marriage and seeing as how there are laws saying I can't claim it on my federal taxes.

eeka said...

Err...try this link:

http://tinyurl.com/y5buw5

Boston Bud said...

We had an accountant do our taxes last year and he said we could file as married which would have cost of more in taxes or we could file as single since that is what we are required to do for Federal taxes.

We also submitted a letter to the IRS saying we were legally married in Massachusetts so under the penalities of perjury we had to check off the single box because the federal government did not recognize our marriage.