You folks had it easy (just kidding). Imagine for a minute being a partner in a Big 4 national accounting firm. Every year there were 38 state tax returns and several city returns, not to mention the foreign taxes from the other countries we did business in. The firm did help. They had negotiated with many states to allow them to file an aggregate return on behalf on nonresident partners. The problem with that was that like any approximate substitute for a real return, you always ended up paying more than you would have if you had actually filed a nonresident return. However, if you lived in a State where you could credit out of state tax payments against your in-state liability it probably washed out. But some of the biggest states would not play so I ended up filing myself in Virginia (home), New York, and California. I pity those who live in California, their return is a nightmare, worst of all returns, including the Federal.
The firm just gave you a report that stated what they had paid on your behalf in all the other states. Yes, I took an out of state tax credit against my Virginia state liability and each year when I filed, I included a copy of the report sent to me by the firm. And every year like clockwork, in June or July, I got a letter from Richmond saying I couldn't claim the out of state credit without including full copies of the out of state returns. And then we proceeded to the annual exchange of letters and phone calls in which I explained that I didn't have those returns (and in fact, if they had just read the report, it said that I didn't have copies of the aggregate returns). And then each year I had to explain what a aggregate return was and how it applied to me and in fact, Virginia allowed exactly the same aggregate returns for partners in my firm who weren't resident in Virginia. And by September or so we finally figured it out. Each and every year for over 25 years. And they did the same thing with all my other partners who lived in Virginia. You think they could have included a note in the return. But I guess they figured that if they harassed us enough some of us might give up. As it was annually several thousand dollars, I wasn't about to give up. Besides after a few years I basically just sent them copies of the letters I had sent them the previous year.
As much as anything else simply not having to go through this every year has been a great joy since I retired.
I pity the poor folks at the firm's national headquarters who will now have to negotiate with all those states on how to handle this DOMA issue on the aggregate returns. Good luck and more power to them.
My choice early in life was to either be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politican. And to tell the truth there's hardly any difference.
Harry S Truman