New Guidance on Rhode Island State Tax Treatment for Same-Sex Spouses


Following up on our recent e-blast on IRS guidance re: federal taxation for same-sex spouses (link), Rhode Island’s Division of Taxation has clarified that all same-sex married couples will be treated as “married” for all state tax purposes, as well. This rule applies to all types of taxes (income, estate, gift) and to all same-sex spouses that live in Rhode Island, even if they were married in a different state.

Starting with the 2013 state income tax filing, same-sex married couples must file as married (either jointly or separately). For same-sex couples who were married prior to August 1, 2013 (e.g. married in Massachusetts but lived in Rhode Island) and want to amend their prior year tax returns to reflect “married” status, Rhode Island will permit it for state tax purposes, if it is permitted under federal law.

For more information, the Division of Taxation has provided some plain language FAQs on its website, at

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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