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Va. tax department implements ‘hateful’ guidelines for married, same-sex couples

Monday, December 2, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. — The state of Virginia has released new tax guidelines for legally married same-sex couples, establishing what is being called some of the most complicated and harshest policies by any state tax department against same-sex couples.

According to the Virginia Taxation Department guidelines, the state will not accept any jointly filed forms for same-sex couples legally married in other states, nor will it allow businesses to take deductions provided by the federal government for providing benefits for same-sex spouses.

tax-forms“Virginia has by far the most hateful and stringent guidelines for married same-sex couples,” said Kate Fletcher, a local tax attorney and LGBT advocate. “Far more than any other non-recognition state.”

Fletcher described some of the ways the new code will affect same-sex couples in Virginia. If you have student loan interest deductions if you file single, you might not qualify because you make too much. But if you aggregate between you and your spouse, with one high earner and one low earner, you might qualify. But when you go to file at the state level, you have to back out that deduction, according to Fletcher.

“You have to recalculate everything.”

But these new rules do more than affect same-sex couples in the state. A section of the new guidelines specifies how private businesses cannot claim deductions for providing benefits to same-sex spouses:

Under the newly established federal policy, employers may claim a federal deduction for payments of fringe benefits to employees’ same-sex spouses and dependents. Since Virginia does not recognize same-sex marriage, these businesses must adjust the deductions they claim for Virginia income tax purposes accordingly.

“It does not bode well at all for the Virginia is “Open for Business” tag line,” said Fletcher.

The Virginia ACLU has also cried foul on the department’s move.

“This bulletin reaffirms the Commonwealth’s ongoing hostility toward LGBT Virginians, including legally married same-sex couples.” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia, in a statement.

“Instead of embracing the U.S. Supreme Court decision that found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, Virginia has signaled its continued opposition to basic fairness by singling out same-sex married couples for discriminatory treatment under state tax laws,” said Gastañaga.

“This policy will hurt a lot of Virginia’s families and businesses and will bode poorly for the commonwealth as a whole,” said James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia, in a statement. “Businesses will have even less incentive to stay in or move to Virginia, and many households will have less money to spend in their communities.”

Other non-recognition states, or states without legal marriage between same-sex couples, have approached the awkward situation in different ways. Missouri has stood out as an example of a state doing all it can for same-sex couples despite banning the unions in their state constitution.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) signed an executive order telling his state’s taxation department to accept joint filings by same-sex couples.

Attempts by GayRVA to contact Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe’s office were not returned, however his transition team told the Washington Post the campaign was aware of the issue, but hadn’t come to any conclusions yet.

Joel Davison told the Post the issue was a matter of the state’s constitution, which is specific in its denial of any benefits to any non-traditional marriage.

© GayRVA.com. An LGBTQ Nation media partner.
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57 more reader comments:

  1. Backward ass state.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:39am
  2. So since Virginia can’t legally throw LGBT people out, they’re taxing them out, along with any business that supports them.

    I guess some folks never learn.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:41am
  3. Try the Missouri way of being made to file a joint return, but not getting to take any deductions that MF couples get to take…

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:44am
  4. the first time it goes to federal court, it will be overturned

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:45am
  5. This is some bull shit. I hate to say I live in Virginia. Fucking holy rollers, bible thumping, close minded assholes.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:45am
  6. Sounds like this is their so called revenge against LGBT. folks. People can be so cruel and nasty.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:45am
  7. Virginia’s is for Haters!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:47am
  8. Backwoods breeding family f******

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:47am
  9. Crossing Virginia off the vacation list. AssHats.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:48am
  10. we need to bankrupt them

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:48am
  11. The problem is that the state constitution has an amendment that says “You can’t marry. You can’t have a civil union. You can’t sign any agreement or contract that even remotely resembles marriage.” This IS a state that still technically has laws on the books against any sex except missionary position, with the lights out, with the person of the opposite sex you’re married to. Given the Texas precedent, those laws would be gone if they tried to enforce them, but…yeah. Virginia is messed up.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:50am
  12. It’s basically a parting “fuck you” by The Cooch.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:52am
  13. Not quite, Stephanie, this came about in Virginia during Bush, the Younger's reign.

    Replied on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 12:56pm
  14. Don’t vacation there…don’t give them your money and if you are able move the hell out…so sick of these states that are so out of touch…if you don’t like me then you certainly aren’t going to get my money

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:52am
  15. It’s a shame I have to pass through Virginia between New Bern, NC and New York City. >_<

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:52am
  16. Thankfully McDonnell and Co. only have a short time remaining there. Hopefully McAuliffe will turn things around for 2015

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:53am
  17. So glad we moved out of Va this year.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:58am
  18. This probably won’t stick around long…the GOP has thankfully lost the governorship and the AG’s office in VA.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:58am
  19. it takes twice as much work to survive and exist as you are!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:58am
  20. Such a sad world, and peoe wonder why kids are bullies. It happens on all levels. SMH…….

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:59am
  21. ASSHOLES!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:59am
  22. People *

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:59am
  23. Waiting to find out what South Carolina will require from us at tax time.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:00am
  24. I am very disappointed in my home state :(

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:01am
  25. Wow, once again, ashamed of my native Virginia

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:01am
  26. Just as I have always said – the politician’s can stand on their “moral” soap-boxes all they want the only issue is money it has always been about money when it came to legal marriage for same-sex couples!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:06am
  27. McCauliffe will change it all.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:12am
  28. he's a politician. chances of that are slim.

    Replied on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 1:29pm
  29. Take it to the courts.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:22am
  30. This is disgusting!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:45am
  31. Asshats!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:49am
  32. And that’s why I don’t give any of my vacation dollars to hateful states

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:53am
  33. Seriously, Virginia…..I am not surprised.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:55am
  34. FUCKERS

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:56am
  35. No wonder nothing gets done in America. Every single state pulling in the opposite direction on every issue. It’s tearing your country apart. Again.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:10am
  36. Buster Daily: That’s because we’re not really a country. We’re an agglomeration of all these tiny little countries…..all doing their own thing. It would probably be better if we just ripped up the whole Constitution and just let every state pick their own little stupid way. :/

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:21am
  37. ok so why is this news? Every state that doesnt recognize our marriages is the same. No stat will allow such deductions, nor do they have to. So the taxes will be the same as they were not higher nor lower the same. Untwist the undies and join with businesses to get gay marriage passed.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:33am
  38. "Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) signed an executive order telling his state’s taxation department to accept joint filings by same-sex couples." No, not every state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage is the same.

    Replied on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 8:15am
  39. Yes they can do that which was my point but they don't have to. To expect a state that doesn't recognize same sex marriages is a situation of "that's great" but they don't have to since people filing single pay more. It's a revenue issue besides a bigoted one. It'll happen bit to get pissy about it is pointless until we have an equal rights decision like the inter racial one.

    Replied on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:03am
  40. David, in Virginia, State taxes are based on Federal which DO allow same-gender to file jointly. The Constitution of Virginia was altered, as Jennifer pointed out, prohibiting any passing of property that in any way resembles "spousal inheritance", and is even difficult for family members to pass property to another family member without exhaustive documentation of familial relationships. I would file jointly and let the Commonwealth oppose the filing all the way to the Supreme Court. Remember, the Constitutional amendments that were rife throughout the Nation were during the fundamentalist purge under Bush, the Younger, who pushed, unsuccessfully, for an amendment to the United States Constitution to legitimize discrimination.

    Replied on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 12:55pm
  41. Good thing I don’t intend on living or visiting the back water state anytime in my life :3 meanwhile, HELLO HAWAII!!! AND FRANCE :) I hope to have a second home on your soil in the future!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5:34am
  42. Gay people who want to get married, move out of Tennessee and give your tax money to states who give a damm about you

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 6:43am
  43. Again, same thing happened in Canada. Each province had its own stance on same sex marriage. Some recognised it, some didn’t. Once the domino effect started with each province legalising it, the federal government stepped in and made it a federal issue. Once that happened, the entire country was aligned. Then the divorce issue happened. For a while same sex married people in Canada couldn’t get divorced because the federal legislation had to be changed for inclusiveness.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:45am
  44. There are days I just want to go and live on another planet. This stuff makes me so disheartened. :(

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 8:24am
  45. It is so typical of government to want money from same sex couples and yet treat them like shit socially….UNFORTUNATELY OBTAINING MORE REVENUE VIA TAXES will probably be the reason Washington finally gives the LGBTQ community civil rights and marriage.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 8:32am
  46. Virginia has always been Christian based. People will leave and they will loose out.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9:38am
  47. Keeping it classy virginia as always.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:16am
  48. Shameful

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 10:55am
  49. Clearly they learning NOTHING from Loving vs. Virginia.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:05am
  50. I remember when the Lovings were sent to prison for having the audacity to marry.

    Replied on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 12:57pm
  51. File jointly and let the state take you to court where they will ultimately lose at great expense to the taxpayers of Vaginiria.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 12:00pm
  52. Wow.

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 12:55pm
  53. I’m ashamed to say I live in this state. Another reason to hate it, and another reason to leave.

    Virginia is for haters, no lovers. Go fuck yourselves, you old and bigoted bastards!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 1:25pm
  54. I find it odd that those people with negative comments in regards to LGBT people are even on this site…it’s like they really aren’t happy unless they are intruding into other people’s lives that they don’t even know. If they really are against this then why do they feel it necessary to monitor this site…after all, it IS a LGBT site. If I personally disagree with something, the last thing I would want would be to see it on my wall…just sayin…

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 1:29pm
  55. What the hell is wrong with you Virginia? People were always human and kind on the east coast. I guess the world is changing more and more to a very hateful place!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 1:46pm
  56. Why not be on the right side of History

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 2:17pm
  57. I’m so glad I moved out of Virginia. Things are not going to get better there anytime soon! It’s actually quite sad!

    Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 3:09pm