Senators Skindell And Tavares Introduce Legislation To Ensure Fairness In Filing Ohio Tax Returns
Bill allows married same sex-couples to file joint state income tax returns

Columbus –Today, State Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) introduced legislation, SB 259, to allow married same-sex couples to file joint state income tax returns. As the result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, married same-sex couples can file joint federal income tax returns, but they are denied that same right by the Ohio Department of Taxation when filing state income tax returns.
“This is fair and reasonable legislation that ensures all Ohioans are treated the same regardless of sexual orientation,” said Senator Skindell.  “The current rules place an unfair burden on married same-sex couples in Ohio by requiring them to file additional tax forms when other married couples do not.”
Married same-sex couples in Ohio face additional costs and complexity when completing their tax returns as a result of this unequal policy. Currently, the Ohio Department of Taxation requires same-sex couples married in other states to fill out a special form and file separately as “single” or “head of household”.   That’s in addition to what they would pay a tax preparer to complete a joint federal income tax return.
“We should not unduly penalize our constituent households with more costly and time-consuming tax preparation,” said Senator Tavares. “This legislation will ensure that our tax policies are fair, just, equitable and right for all of Ohio's tax payers.”
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama instructed the U.S. Treasury Department to recognize same-sex marriages for tax purposes after the United States Supreme Court struck down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for being unconstitutional.  As a consequence, the Internal Revenue Service has adopted new rules allowing same-sex couples to file joint returns for the 2013 tax year.  While the federal government recognizes their marriages, the Ohio Constitution limits marriage to one man and one woman.

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