Photo: AirBeagle (Flickr)
The Indiana legislature amended a bill this week to say in terms of taxes, same-sex married couples will be treated as single.
The measure is a routine bill the legislature passes each year lining up Indiana‘s tax code with changes made by the Internal Revenue Service, except a handful it specifically excludes. But the IRS announced last year it would treat same-sex couples as married, whether their home states recognize gay marriage or not.
The Indiana measure, which is up for a vote today, clarifies that for state taxes that will not be the case.
“If we filed the federal tax code update in its entirety, we would be running afoul of existing state law on same-sex marriages, and I don’t think that was anyone’s intent,” says Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Chairman Brandt Hershman, R-Buck Creek.
Hershman notes same-sex marriage remains invalid under state law. He says Indiana’s constitutional amendment proposal will be fought out on its own merits, but in the meantime, he says the tax code needs to reflect Indiana law.
“We have the ability to write code that best applies to Indiana’s needs, and we do that on a variety of issues,” Hershman says. “Sometimes we choose to track federal tax changes, sometimes we choose not to.”
The policy won‘t cost same-sex couples any money. They can still file their 1040 as married, and Indiana has a flat tax anyway.
It will mean some extra paperwork. They‘ll have to file separate state returns, and fill out sample federal returns listing themselves as single to calculate them.