In the TaxAct program, all information entered on the federal return flows to the attached state return(s). If taxpayers need to file using one filing status on the federal return (e.g. Single), and a different filing status on the state form (e.g. Registered Domestic Partner or Civil Union), it is not possible to have this filing status conflict between the federal and state forms in one return.
To accommodate for this situation, taxpayers need to prepare multiple returns in TaxAct. An example of how taxpayers would file separately for federal purposes and jointly for state purposes is as follows:
TaxAct Return #1 - Spouse A prepares a federal return with filing status Single, including just their information (note that if you reside in a community property state you would also use your spouse's information). This federal return would be filed.
TaxAct Return #2 - Spouse B prepares a federal return with filing status Single, including just their information (again note that if you reside in a community property state you would also use your spouse's information). This federal return would be filed.
TaxAct Return #3 - Both spouses combine federal information from Return #1 and Return #2 in a new return with filing status Married Filing Jointly (Do not file this federal return). Attach a state return to this federal return so the combined federal information will flow to the state return. File this state return.
The combined federal return (in TaxAct Return #3) should equal the two federal returns that were completed for each taxpayer separately. A copy of all three federal forms should be maintained for documentation.
For Registered Domestic Partners (RDPs) that live in Nevada, Washington or California (and individuals in California who, for state law purposes, are married to an individual of the same sex), there are additional instructions for filing the federal returns as those are Community Property States. For additional information, refer to IRS Publication 555 Community Property.