Montana: Legally married same-sex couples may not file joint state tax return

Montana state capitol in Helena, Mont. Staff Reports

HELENA, Mont. — Montana‘s state Revenue Director said Tuesday that same-sex couples legally married in other states may not file joint state income-tax returns.

Montana state capitol in Helena, Mont.

Montana state capitol in Helena, Mont.

In testimony Tuesday before the Legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim Committee, Mike Kadas told lawmakers that the Montana Revenue Department (MRD) is unable to follow the recent Internal Revenue Service that allows legally married same-sex couples to file joint federal tax returns.

According Kadas, said the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage prohibits legal recognition of same-sex couples, and that while same-sex couples could file jointly on their federal returns, they could not on state returns.

Responding to a question by Democratic Sen. Dick Barrett of Missoula, Kadas acknowledged the state could be subject to an equal-protection lawsuit under the U.S. Constitution.

Barrett says it appears the only way to fix it would be to remove the 2004 voter-approved amendment.

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