Because some who are eligible for the new federal ruling might assume that it's also applicable to state taxes, leading to filings that will need correction, Cheek implies that SCDOR hopes the proposed ruling would avoid difficulties for itself and taxpayers while its office simply operates according to the state constitution.
Cheek also points out that the Revenue Ruling is only a draft and can still be changed.
"We encourage persons to read the proposal and provide their feedback and comments."
The advocacy group contests that SCDOR is obligated to seek or incorporate this ruling, however, offering recent example from another state in comparison.
Missouri also has restrictive definition of marriage in its laws and state constitution, but in November 2013 Gov. Jay Nixon issued executive order allowing same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns.
Wilson of SC Equality notes, "If Missouri could find a way to make it work, so could South Carolina."
Not allowing joint filings would also impose "undue hardship" on SCDOR itself, he says.
"This will make the return more difficult to audit and require manual processing of the return."
Wilson also questions the true intentions of the proposal.
"(SCDOR's) ruling is one that is purposely intended to reject federal definition of 'married spouse,' and South Carolina's same-sex couples (will) pay the price."
SCDOR is accepting comments on the proposal by email to majorsg(AT)sctax.org through through January 17.
Public meeting on the issue begins at 9 a.m. on January 22 in conference room MPC02 of SCDOR's office building (300-A Outlet Pointe Blvd. in Columbia).
South Carolina has approximately 1,600 households with same-sex partners who were legally married in other states.