LOCAL 12 - Search Results
Gay Couples to File Joint Tax Returns
Local same-sex couple applauds Treasury Dept. decision on tax returns.
Same-sex couples celebrated another victory in their fight for equal rights Thursday after the U.S. Treasury Department announced guidelines that will allow married, gay couples to file joint tax returns.
As long as a same-sex couple was married in a state that recognizes their marriage, they can file a joint return no matter where they live.
Cincinnati couple Ryan Messer and Jimmy Musuraca plan to marry in New York soon and then hold a ceremony in Cincinnati in October. They will be able to file their taxes together as any heterosexual couple would even though they live in Ohio where same-sex marriage is banned.
"I don't think we even thought about it being a possibility until it actually happened in Ohio so the fact that it happened nationwide today, even though we can't officially get married here, is incredible," Messer said.
Musuraca added, "I think we'll see our taxes will go down slightly which will be a very nice benefit."
A Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act cleared the way for Thursday's announcement.
"Equality in all aspects of our lives is important. So this is another step in that direction and it's certainly been a long time coming and should have already happened so it's nice to see us moving in that direction," Musuraca said.
Messer and Musuraca say they still deal with discrimination such as name calling. Just last week someone shouted a slur at them as they walked into a movie theater. Both said they will not be truly satisfied until the state of Ohio's ban on gay marriage is overturned.
"I think we're getting there and it's going to take things like this that help us and show the country this is the right thing to do. This is something that should be the right of all couples who are committed and love each other," Messer said.
Some couples will see an added benefit because they will be able to purchase health insurance on a pre-tax basis from employers. It's not clear how this will impact state tax returns in states such as Ohio that ban gay marriage.
The tax benefits do not apply to couples who are in domestic partnerships or civil unions.
Some same-sex couples may pay higher taxes because of the so-called marriage penalty.
All can amend their tax returns from 2010 through 2012.
13 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage.