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Share and share alike: your taxes in a community property state

The hubby and I have always shared our finances.

We've both worked. Sometimes his paycheck has been bigger. A few times, mine has. Either way, we put all our earnings into one joint checking account and go from there.

I've always joked that we share everything because we were married in Texas, a community property state.

Kids sharing a shake courtesy andrechinn via Flickr Kids sharing a shake by andrechinn via Flickr

Even when we moved away for a while, I told the hubby we still were operating under the what's yours is mine philosophy. Now we're back home in our native Lone Star State and I've got the law back on my side.

While I'm sure all y'all are enjoying my little financial anecdote, I bring it up not just for entertainment purposes, but because this week's Weekly Tax Tip is a look at taxes in community property states.

Nine states have community property laws: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

If you're in one of them, your taxes could be complicated if you file separate returns.

Divorce gets even trickier in these jurisdictions.

And same-sex couples in California, Nevada and Washington, where registered domestic partnerships (and some 2008 Golden State weddings) are recognized, also must deal with community property laws in filing federal tax returns.

Since their relationships aren't recognized by Uncle Sam, they must file separate federal 1040s and deal with the community property rules on those two forms.

Now I'm not saying let taxes determine where you settle, but do keep in mind that if you move to one of the nine community property states, it could affect your finances and your taxes.

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Account Deleted

You are one straightforward writer. I enjoyed reading your article and taking in all the interesting information. I share your thoughts on many points in this content. This is great.

Jiachen Zong

As most people think that tax differentiation will lead people to make decisions on where they want to live in order to be liable with the least tax, however, that doesn't make any difficult decisions at all, because across the U.S., the law was legislated to make people live equally and peacefully, even these nine states followed by community property rules, they bear more sale taxes on the other hand probably if they recognized the difference of what they have paid across the boundaries. Some states may have to decide the balance between different taxes in order to comfort residents with states and distribute exclusive benefits out of tax collections.

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