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Tax filing confusion awaits same sex couples

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Same-sex couples in Wisconsin who get married elsewhere can file joint federal income tax returns, and pay less than they would as individuals. The I-R-S said yesterday that gay married couples will have the same federal tax status as heterosexual couples –even if they live in states like Wisconsin that don’t recognize same-sex marriage. State officials were quick to point out that same-sex couples would still have to file their Wisconsin returns as individuals.

The I-R-S ruling comes after the U-S Supreme Court struck down the Defense-of-Marriage Act in late June. U-S House Democrat Mark Pocan of Madison, who’s in a same-sex marriage, says the federal ruling is a huge benefit to similar couples in the Badger State. Pocan said he would ask state officials in the coming days to allow gay couples to file joint state tax returns.

Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action said a state tax change would violate Wisconsin’s constitutional ban on gay marriages and civil unions. Appling’s group pushed for the passage of the anti-gay marriage amendment.