Friday, August 30, 2013

The Gaily News: Married gay couples can file joint taxes nationwide

Posted by on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 6:00 AM

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Regardless of where they live — even if it’s a state where their marriage isn’t recognized — legally married same-sex couples can now jointly file federal taxes, the Treasury Department announced. This new federal rule change follows the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in June that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said: “[This] ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax-filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

Walmart announced it will extend health benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of its LGBT employees. A leaked internal memo from the company calls the updated policy “a business decision, not a moral or political decision” to ensure consistent benefits to Walmart associates throughout the country. The policy changes will take effect in 2014.

Following a state judge ruling that New Mexico’s marriage law doesn’t specifically prohibit gay marriage, some county clerks throughout the state have been issuing marriage licenses to LGBT couples. And some clerks have joined a lawsuit in hopes that it will determine a clear-cut, statewide policy on gay marriage. The legal move could clear the way for an appeal to the Supreme Court, which could determine whether gay marriage is legal in New Mexico.

Hawaiian Gov. Neil Abercrombie presented state lawmakers with a draft of a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. The governor hopes to meet with House and Senate leaders to consider the possibility of a special session to vote on the matter. If the legislation passes, Hawaii would become the 14th state to legalize same-sex nuptials.

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