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Block To Reimburse Gay Couples

Block To Reimburse Gay Couples

Tax preparation company H&R Block is offering reimbursements to gay couples that encountered problems with the company's online software--which didn't support tax returns from civil unions in certain states--the Associated Press reported Thursday.

"We don't discriminate," company spokeswoman Denise Sposato told the AP. "We want to make sure if anyone tried to use TaxCut online they had a recourse here."

Hartford, Conn., couple Jason Smith and Settimio Pisu had to pay $155 after software they were using informed them that it couldn't support tax returns from Connecticut civil unions, and recommended that the men finish their tax returns at an H&R Block office.

H&R Block began offering either a $100 coupon toward next year's tax preparation or free software after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called their attention to the issue in March.

"When the ACLU brought this to our attention, we agreed with them," Sposato told the AP.

ACLU officials are satisfied with the company's response. "We're pleased that H&R Block has decided to do right by gay couples throughout the country," Rebecca Shore, an attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, told the AP. "Saying you've been civilly united will never be the same as saying you're married, but at least gay couples will no longer face the prospect of paying more to prepare their taxes."

Couples who think that they may be eligible for a reimbursement should contactH&R Block. (The Advocate)

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