American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Missouri to recognize married gay and lesbian couples for tax returns

Tax day is right around the corner and married same-sex couples in Missouri will have one less headache. Thursday Governor Jay Nixon, a conservative Democrat, issued an executive order to allow legally married gay couples to file joint state tax returns if they also file jointly for their federal taxes.

“Many Missourians, including myself, are thinking about these issues of equality in new ways and reflecting on what constitutes discrimination. To me, that process has led to the belief that we shouldn’t treat folks differently just because of who they are,” he said at a news conference.

A 2004 state constitutional amendment prevents  gay and lesbian couples from getting married in the state, and the state from recognizing the out of state marriages of gay couples.  Because of this, married same-sex couples will not be able to take advantage state tax benefits given to other married couples.

This will be the first tax-filing since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. All couples who are legally married will be able to file joint tax-returns, regardless of whether their home state recognizes their marriage. Married couples can also amend up to three years of tax returns to seek an additional refund.  This does not apply to couples with a civil union, domestic partnership, or other relationship status.

While emphasizing that his executive order dealt only with tax filing status, Nixon said he would like to see state voters take another look at recognizing same-sex marriage.

“I think if folks want to get married, they should be able to get married,” he said.