Ill. to let civil-union couples file tax returns

November 28, 2011 - 11:50 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Couples with civil-union licenses in Illinois will soon be allowed to file joint income tax returns with the state.

Though same-sex couples will still have to file federal tax returns individually, the Illinois Department of Revenue says it will accept joint returns from same-sex couples starting in January.

Monday's announcement comes after Illinois became the seventh state, along with the District of Columbia, to give same-sex couples significant legal protections. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state's civil union law in January.

Illinois has a flat income tax of 5 percent, so a joint state return won't save couples money. But Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov says the new policy is still a good step.

A revenue department spokeswoman says officials are still finalizing how the policy will work.