Same-sex couple faces complications filing taxes after getting m - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Same-sex couple faces complications filing taxes after getting married

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Although tax day has come and gone, one Columbus couple says they are still sifting through the paperwork. 

The couple has only been married a few months, but they say their life sometimes feels like one big stack of forms needing to be filled out.

"They don't understand that love goes past all those things. So, it's really not an issue for us it just happens to be an issue for the rest of the world," says Sumika Phillips-Wilson.

Kim and Sumika Wilson tied the knot in November after falling in love on social media.
     
The couple traveled to Washington D.C. to obtain their marriage license where gay marriage is legal. However, they have settled down with their three children in Georgia where their union is not recognized by law. 

"Sometimes I have to catch myself and say, 'You know what, they are doing their job.' I don't like it, and I've been known to be frustrated, but at the end of the day, you just realize this is the world we live in," Sumika comments.

The pair claims that what seems like a never-ending stack of paperwork has tarnished their new lives together. They say normal family business can be a tremendous headache, including filing their taxes. 

"It's a lot of paperwork. There are a lot of things we have to do other people don't have to do," says Sumika.

"It's confusing and it's going to be expensive," says Certified Public Accountant Donald Bowman.
 
Bowman has helped at least one local couple sift through the ever-changing laws. He says the process can begin easy, but grow complicated. 
    
"In practical terms they are allowed to file jointly because their marriage is recognized federally. That's the easy part," Bowman chuckles.

The difficult part is for couple's like the Wilsons who live in states that do not recognize their marriage. They are unable to file jointly, and 33 states have bans on same-sex marriage. 

For same-sex married couples, Bowman suggests they keep all finances separate.

"Be very careful about assembling you material, making sure you identify what belongs to who, and how things are to be divided up," Bowman suggests. 
     
Sumika's partner Kim has hope for the future.

"I can see it changing, even in Columbus. People are more open, it's just the law that's not changing, but in society it's pretty much accepted," Kim says.

The Wilsons say they have yet to complete their taxes due to the mounting paperwork.

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