US gay married couples have celebrated this year’s tax filing deadline as the first where they can file joint tax returns and they can even refile their returns for previous years where they were denied recognition.
The occasion was celebrated at a Monday press conference in New York with Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney and Village People cowboy Randy Jones.
‘There are about 179 provisions of the tax code that are affected by a person’s marital status, 179 times our tax code discriminates against those who are denied the right to marry,’ Maloney said at the press conference.
‘For those who have dedicated their lives for the fight for equality, this is a very important day.’
Jones was married to husband Will Grega in September last year after three decades together and told the press conference that being able to file joint tax returns was a new milestone for their relationship.
‘To stand before you today and say that my husband and I filed jointly for the first time in our 30-year relationship completely emboldens all of us,’ Jones said.
‘This is the first time we’ve actually been able to take advantage of filing jointly, and we have found that it benefited us tremendously.’
Same-sex couples who have married in states where same-sex marriage is legal are now able to file federal income tax returns regardless of whether the state they live in today recognizes same-sex marriage but those who live in such states will still have to file separate state tax returns.
However the exception is Missouri where the state tax code is tied to the federal tax code and the governor has decided to allow married same-sex couples file jointly even though same-sex marriage isn’t legal in the state.