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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 17 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 03
Utah tax officials OK joint filing for married same-sex couples
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Utah tax officials OK joint filing for married same-sex couples

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Utah Tax Commission issued a statement January 16 saying that same-sex couples who have been legally married in Utah or any other state may file joint state income tax returns.

It was a reversal of the commission's previous policy that Gay and Lesbian couples may not file jointly, and it seems to contradict the state's appeal of a December 20 federal court decision allowing same-sex marriage in the state.

'Same-sex couples whose marriages were performed in Utah pursuant to the federal district court's order between Dec. 20, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013, or whose marriages were solemnized in other states before Dec. 31, 2013, may file individual State income returns as 'married,' said Charlie Roberts, spokesperson for the Tax Commission.

The latest policy statement applies only to 2013 taxes, the agency said, with possible changes depending on the outcome of pending court cases.

Utah is appealing the ruling of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby striking down state laws banning same-sex marriage. His ruling was stayed 18 days later by the U.S. Supreme Court, but not before some 1,300 Gay and Lesbian couples were married in the state.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah tax agency did not immediately explain its change of course.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has ruled that marriage rights for the couples are 'on hold' until the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on Judge Shelby's decision. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, on the other hand, said that the federal government would recognize them as married spouses, and that they may file joint federal tax returns.

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