Sunday, November 23, 2014

HAWVER: IRS validates same-sex marriages

By MARTIN HAWVER, At the Rail | 9/16/2013

Well, how (or what) about that!

The Internal Revenue Service has decided that legally married, same-sex married couples — no matter what state they live in — will be recognized as married couples for federal income tax purposes.

Well, how (or what) about that!

The Internal Revenue Service has decided that legally married, same-sex married couples — no matter what state they live in — will be recognized as married couples for federal income tax purposes.

Hmmm ... more of that superior sovereignty stuff, we’re thinking some Kansas legislators are muttering.

If you recall what you might have been doing on April 5, 2005, when Kansans voted to make marriage a boy/girl-only affair (Douglas County, natch, was the only county to reject the amendment, which passed statewide 417,627 to 179,432), well some of the edges of that constitutional amendment might have been eroded.

The IRS last month said it will recognize legal same-sex marriage for federal tax purposes no matter where the couple lives and files its federal income tax from.

The IRS said its ruling “applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.” The ruling implements the federal tax aspects of the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidating some provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996.

So, we’re wondering if many Kansas voters read more than the first couple of sentences on the 2005 ballot. Remember? The ones that say: “Marriage shall be constituted by one man and one woman only. All other marriages are declared to be contrary to the public policy of this state and are void.”

The following sentence says “No relationship, other than a marriage, shall be recognized by the state as entitling the parties to the rights or incidents of marriage.”

It’s that portion of the Kansas Defense of (heterosexual) Marriage Act that appears to be a little shaky now. We’re thinking among those “rights and incidents” is filing a joint Kansas income tax return.

The Kansas Department of Revenue and similar departments in other boy/girl-only marriage states are pondering what happens next.

There is no official count of Kansas same-sex couples who have ventured to states where they can legally be married and returned to Kansas and are now probably thinking about amending their federal income tax returns for this year and two previous years, to take advantage of federal tax breaks for married couples.

And so far, none has filed amended Kansas income tax filings based on those now-possible new federal income tax forms.

Does Kansas accept those amended filings because Kansas income taxes are based in large part on what’s left after the feds get done with our earnings? Or not?

Or does the election-year Kansas House or the governor who stands for reelection decide to dabble in the issue?  

Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report. Visit his website at www.hawvernews.com

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