Community property is property and income acquired during marriage that vests equally in each spouse. Community property statutes implicate both federal and state tax laws but, because community property statutes vary from state to state, their effect on federal and state taxes consequently also vary.

Additionally, because community property depends on the existence of marriage, same-sex couples have increased complexity here. Of the nine states with community property statutes, only California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington apply the rule to same-sex couples. Registered domestic partners (RDPs) in California, Nevada, and Washington must also follow their state’s community property laws. In sum, same-sex couples living in community property states that recognize same-sex unions (i.e., marriage, civil union, and registered domestic partnership) must comply with their state’s community property laws.

To better prepare your taxes and to learn more about community property, we have collected some resources and forms for your review.

Community Property States:

  1. California
  2. Nevada
  3. New Mexico
  4. Washington

To contact your senator in one of the four community property states, click here.


According to Circular 230 any federal tax advice contained in this communication or anywhere on this website, is not intended or written to be used and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.