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Domestic partners and community property income

Bellevue, WA |

1. Per RCW 26.16.140, domestic partners "living separate and apart" do not have community property income during the time they are "living separate and apart." In other words, if I'm living in Washington and my partner must live outside of the USA for the next year or two, our incomes are considered "separate property." (p.s. Our partnership was registered in NV). Correct?

2. Also, for IRS purposes, the above-mentioned fact also means that our incomes are not taxed under the "community property" guidelines per recent IRS rules for domestic partners in community property states. Of course, as he is also a non-resident alien with no US source income there would be an second reason why his income would not affect my tax return with the IRS.

Am I understanding these two things correctly?

Attorney Answers 1


1. Married spouses sometimes continue to have community property income when they live apart, if they do not intend to divorce. It seems to me that this situation may be analogous, if you and your partner must live out of the US for a while, i.e., for legal reasons and not due to any intent to permanently separate. 2. For the same reason, the issue of taxation as separate or community may also depend on the specifics of the situation. Bottom line: you need advice on two separate aspects of the same issue: one is a family law issue (community vs. separate property income); the other is a tax issue (IRS rules on how to treat income of domestic partners during a temporary separation). I recommend that you consult with two attorneys, who concentrate their practices in these two areas.Family lawyer first (to advise on the cp vs. sp issue), then tax lawyer (to take that advice and apply it to the applicable IRS rules).

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