Discussion:Lacerte - Same sex marriage in CA

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Discussion Forum Index --> Advanced Tax Questions --> Lacerte - Same sex marriage in CA

Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Lacerte - Same sex marriage in CA

SoCalEA (talk|edits) said:

11 March 2009
I have two clients that were married in CA before Prop 8 passed. Per the FTB, same sex marriages after June 16, 2008 and November 8, 2008 are allowed to file MFJ in CA. So now I have to figure out how to get Lacerte how to do this. Has anyone else ran into this situation? Otherwise I might have to do this by hand but it is a somewhat complicated return.

EZTAX (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2009
Ultra tax handles this fairly well and it is my understanding that Lacerte can do the return for you if you set it up properly.

Hello tech support!

CrowCPA (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2009
I have not done a California return for a same sex couple, but I have been doing lots of Vermont civil union returns for many years. The procedure I use in Vermont should work equally as well in California. I use ProSystem, but that should not make a difference.

For such a couple I set up three files: one for each taxpayer for their federal return and a third file with the married-joint for the state return. I prepare the federal returns first. When I am satisfied with the separate federal returns, I prepare the married-joint return using the single returns as my input. It can be done quite expediently. For each line item on the single returns I make a single entry into the married return using the taxpayers name as the identifier. For example, if Tom had 3 W-2s, I will make one entry for the sum of them with the "employer" as "Tom". Similarly, interest, dividends, cap gains and so on are entered as totals for each taxpayer, without all the detail required on the federal return.

For itemized deductions you may need to add some items that were not used on a federal return if one party had itemized deductions and the other does not. State tax withheld and contributions are the most frequent items getting this treatment.

All of this works for a paper return. If you are required to efile you might have to enter a lot more detail. Good luck if that is the case. I hope I never have to do that.

Laketahoecpa (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2009
Its easier than that. I did California return for Registered Domestic Partners. In Screen 1 of LaCerte (Client info) at very bottom there is place to put RDP filing status (which is joint). Create one Lacerte return with both people in it. For all items input, you will specify whether it is attributable to taxpayer or spouse. Once joint return is finished then go to forms tab and go to California 540 - There will be a green message at top of form that says "CLICK HERE TO CREATE FEDERAL RETURNS". It will then split the return into to separate returns to be used for federal filing

CrowCPA (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2009
California is lucky. The software people would never make it this easy for Vermont returns.

Wonder Woman USA (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2009
SoCalEA, doesn't matter if they are among the few same sex coples who were able to marry before the November elections. If their domestic partnership is registered with the State of California (not with their city or county), then they also much file as married, either joint or MFS.

Just follow what Lakwtahoecpa says, and if something is missing, you can delete the two Federal returns, check your input, and split the return again! The first one or two are the hardest, after that, you'll get a system down!

Lalva (talk|edits) said:

12 March 2009
I was wondering about that too, I use ProSeries Professional.

Last year (first one in CA) I did a few Domestic Partners returns starting with the joint return and then copying it into another file and deleting one partner, and then copying it again deleting the other one to create the federal returns.

But I was thinking that this year I have 3 separate returns with NOLs, Passive losses carryovers, etc and I don't know if I should be better off keeping the 3 separate returns and adding the information on them.

Any thoughts?

SoCalEA (talk|edits) said:

16 March 2009
Thank you very much for the help guys. I just got a half dozen more clients by figuring this out.

Joanmcq (talk|edits) said:

16 March 2009
I do the federal returns first, duplicate whichever one is more complicated, and then add the spouse. So far one has always been much more complicated than the other until this last one I'm doing. Too bad Lacerte is so expensive; that seems like a dream, especially since SSMC/RDP returns are my specialty.

Tdoyle (talk|edits) said:

March 19, 2009
I've created a page on this subject at Tax Returns for Registered Domestic Partnerships and have included links to the appropriate Lacerte support pages. Feel free to add to this page as this is a fairly new subject that many preparers may need assistance with.

- Tim Doyle, TaxAlmanac Moderator - Talk to me 14:59, 19 March 2009 (CDT)

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