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Married gay couple attempts to file joint tax return in D.C.

Married gay couple attempts to file joint tax return in D.C.

Gay couples married last year in Massachusetts may file joint District of Columbia tax returns, the city's attorney general has ruled. D.C. attorney general Robert Spagnoletti issued the ruling Monday in response to a legal filing by a married gay couple, The Washington Post reported. The ruling also states that the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue "reserves the authority" to reject their filings. Married same-sex couples are not allowed to file joint federal income tax returns because of a 1996 law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A 1995 court ruling prohibits same-sex marriages from being performed in the District of Columbia. However, Spagnoletti's decision renews the debate over whether the city should legally recognize gay marriages performed in other states. A spokesman for Mayor Anthony A. Williams said the mayor is reviewing the legal filing with city lawyers. D.C. chief financial officer Natwar M. Gandhi, who oversees the tax agency, said through a spokeswoman that he would consult Williams and Spagnoletti. The ruling came in response to a filing by Edward G. Horvath and Richard G. Neidich, D.C. residents and federal workers who said they have been a couple for 25 years. The couple said they were married last year in Massachusetts and did not want to "commit perjury" on their tax forms by denying their marital status. Spagnoletti's office said the couple's request is the only one it has received from a gay married couple. The two men have requested an extension and expect to file a joint D.C. return this week, Horvath said. The couple might sue if the return is rejected, but Horvath said he hoped that would not be required. (AP)

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