In a move that could be seen as a big step forward for same-sex couples in Illinois, the state announced late Monday that partners who enter into a civil union would be able to file joint income tax returns.
The policy only applies to state tax returns. Couples who have entered into a civil union in Illinois would still have to file individual returns at the federal level.
The Illinois Department of Revenue said it is still working out details on how the policy will work, but nonetheless, it would begin to accept the joint-filings in January of next year.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state's civil union law in January, giving heterosexual and same-sex couples the right to make joint financial and health care decisions.
More than 1,600 licenses were issued in the first month.