Tags: Gay Marriage | Indiana | tax | gay

Indiana Senate Nixes Joint Tax Returns for Gay Couples

By    |   Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 10:01 AM

Indiana senators have deleted a provision in the state tax code that would have allowed same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns, but a Republican state senator said the move just codifies current practice.

Republican state Sen. Brandt Hershman said Tuesday the move was made because of the possible impact of the federal government's decision allowing married same-sex couples to file joint federal tax returns, reports The Indianapolis Star.

Hershman, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, said Indiana's legislature chooses what portions of federal tax code revisions to adopt. Tuesday's action amends a broader bill that clarifies the state's tax policies concerning same-sex couples.

"This only codifies current practice," Hershman said. "This is not piling on or anything like that. It doesn't change a thing."

However, Rick Sutton, executive director of gay rights advocacy group Indiana Equality Action, said, "I'm puzzled why we need legislative action to trump or somehow highlight in boldface what's already being done at the administrative level."

He said it is more costly and discriminatory for same-sex couples to have to file separate state tax returns when they can file joint federal returns.

After the federal government changed its rules to allow same-sex couples to file joint returns, the Indiana Department of Revenue announced that partners in such a union must file state taxes as singles.

The department said couples who file federal returns should also fill out a sample federal single-filer form that divides their income so they can use them for reference while filing Indiana's state taxes.

The move comes just weeks after opponents of an effort to place Indiana's gay marriage ban in the state constitution won a surprising victory, with the Senate pushing off a statewide vote on the issue for at least two years.

The Indiana Senate considered no amendments and did not debate before advancing the proposed ban without a provision that would have barred civil unions and could have prevented employers from offering benefits to same-sex couples.

The expansive language had raised concerns among many lawmakers, including those who otherwise supported limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

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Indiana senators have deleted a provision in the state tax code that would have allowed same-sex couples to file joint state tax returns, but a Republican state senator said the move just codifies current practice.
Indiana,tax,gay
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2014-01-05
Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 10:01 AM
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