The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance issued its initial guidance on the new same-sex marriage laws to clarify the law's impact on state income, estate, withholding and sales taxes. Same-sex couples must file New York state income tax returns as though they are married, even though their marital status is not recognized for Federal income tax purposes. For couples married as of December 31, 2011, they will be considered married for the entire year. Same-sex couples also can make the same elections and deductions on their estate tax returns as allowed for opposite-sex couples (which will involve the completion of two separate Federal estate tax returns, one of which is to be used for New York State estate tax purposes).  The guidance published by New York also provides for certain withholding and sales tax rules in conformity with the rules applicable to opposite-sex couples.