News (USA)

Mo. to accept joint state tax returns from married, same-sex couples

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday he is directing officials to accept tax returns jointly filed by same-sex couples who were legally married in other states.

Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.)
Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.)

The Democratic governor said his executive order deals solely with tax filing status and does not authorize or sanction same-sex marriage in Missouri.

It’s in response to a decision by the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service that said legally married same-sex couples would be treated as married regardless of where they lived. That decision came after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated part of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Missouri’s tax code is tied directly to the federal government, and the state requires married couples who file joint federal tax returns also to file state taxes jointly.

Speaking at a news conference at the state Capitol, Nixon said recognition of same-sex marriage is a separate question from the tax filing issue, but that he hopes voters will have a chance to revisit that.

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In 2004, Missouri became the first state to enact a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The measure was approved by 70 percent of the vote.

“I just don’t think we should treat folks differently in this zone anymore,” Nixon said. “I think if folks want to get married, they should be able to get married.”

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