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Steve Sims, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate.

California Community Property Rules for Registered Domestic Partners and Same-Sex Married Couples

Last year, the IRS issued Chief Counsel Advice that requires each California registered domestic partner to report one-half of their community income on their individual federal tax returns filed after January 1, 2010. This new rule also applies to California same-sex married couples.

While this new federal requirement does not change how these couples file for California income tax purposes, we have been receiving many questions about California’s community property tax rules.

California taxpayers who choose to file separate rather than joint returns must follow the California community property tax laws. These laws are found in the California Family Code law, and case law.

So, while we cannot provide guidance on how to file federal income tax returns, registered domestic partners and same-sex married couples may find answers to many of their community property questions in the following publications:

Our publications are available online at, or you may order by phone by calling 800.338.0505. The IRS Publication is available online at

Recorded information is available by calling 800.338.0505, and you may speak with one of our representative by calling 800.852.5711.

Steve Sims, EA
Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate

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