ABC 15: Tax Day 2014: Tax burden higher for same-sex couples in Arizona

Story by Angie Holdsworth

PHOENIX – While some people are filing taxes on this Tax Day, others could be considering filing suit.

With more states recognizing same sex marriage, Valley couples getting married in other states are facing heavier tax burdens here in Arizona.

“I never thought it would be possible in my lifetime,” said Nancy Mangone, a Valley lawyer who married her partner in Maine in September.  “Now we have to play this fiction that we are not married come tax time.”

Tax expert, Seth Fink with Phocus Financial explained that same sex couples need to file three returns essentially, one joint federal and then two individual single returns since Arizona won’t recognize a joint filing.

“It means higher tax preparation costs and sometimes higher taxes,” he said.

The biggest issue that creates burdensome returns is knowing how to divide up who claims what, when the couple owns property together.

For Mangone, she is unable to get the state deductions on their house because her partner owns it, even though Mangone pays the mortgage bill.

She told ABC15 that she is aware of other suits and is considering filing one of her own.