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Married Couples “Refuse to Lie” on Taxes

Married Couples “Refuse to Lie” on Taxes

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Participants in the Refuse to Lie campaign want the federal government to recognize marriage equality, even if they could incur penalties by filing jointly.

The New York Times reports on the predicament for same-sex couples, who must file separate tax returns with the IRS, which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. The federal problem applies regardless of whether couples live in a state or jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage.

"Using that definition, federal tax returns ask taxpayers to check one of five options under their filing status: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child," reports the Times. "Married same-sex partners typically file their own federal returns either as single or, if they qualify, as head of household, which has more favorable rates than the single filing status."

However, same-sex couples in the campaign say that filing as single is the same as lying about their marrital status. Their argument is bolstered by two federal court cases against the Defense of Marriage Act now being appealed in the first circuit.

On the other hand, penalties could still apply for this who make the protest, the Times reports.

"The 'Refuse to Lie' Web site warns same-sex couples of the risks of filing jointly, and explains different options to both adhere to the law while expressing that they disagree with it. One way to do that would be to put an asterisk by the 'single' box, and then indicate at the bottom of the tax form that you are 'only single under DOMA.' Another option, the site says, is to attach a note with a similar message."

Read more here.

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