The Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, signed by Governor Quinn back in February, went into effect yesterday, June 1st. Illinois has become the sixth state to offer civil unions. A civil union offers many of the benefits of a marriage, including many of the tax benefits. Currently, the federal government does not recognize civil unions and so members of a civil union do not gain the same federal benefits that would come with a marriage.
For the purposes of estate planning, inheritance, income tax filing, and many other tax concerns, in Illinois members of a civil union have virtually identical rights to married couples. Furthermore, anyone who was married in another state, or who entered into a civil union or similar arrangement in another state, will be treated as being in a civil union in Illinois.
For more on the new law and for how it affects tax situations, or for help with other tax issues, contact the Chicago tax attorneys at Horowitz & Weinstein.