Friday, August 30, 2013

New IRS to Allow All Married Gay Couples To File Jointly; Medicare to Follow Suit

In a welcomed move to many, the Internal Revenue Service has announced new rules that will allow all same-sex married couples to file joint tax returns.  The move will, however, cause additional tax preparation work for same sex couples in anti-gay states like Virginia where apparently, the Virginia Department of Taxation will recognize their marriages and separate returns will be still required.  Just another reminder that in Virginia and other Neanderthal states gays are not equal citizens and are continued to be punished for not conforming to Christofascist religious dogma.   The New Civil Rights Movement looks at the develop.  Here are excerpts:

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that new IRS policy for same-sex couples during a conference call with LGBT leaders today. The IRS will now accept joint returns from married same-sex couples no matter where they live.

According to the Huffington Postunder the new Treasury policy, filing status, employee benefits, IRA contributions, earned income, child tax credits, and income, gift and estate taxes, will apply to same-sex couples in exactly the same manner as they do with heterosexual couples, even if they live in a non-equality state. Unfortunately, the new policy does not extend to civil unions.

The IRS policy change comes on the heels of a similar announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius earlier today. Like the IRS, Medicare will now use a “place of celebration” standard to grant Medicare benefits to same-sex couples.  

That leaves the Social Security Administration the “odd man out”. Currently the SSA is processing claims only from same-sex couples who live in marriage equality states while they review their policy.

Obviously, Social Security survivor benefits represent a huge issue and it is important that the current discriminatory policy be ended as quickly as possible.   Meanwhile, it is wonderful to see the discrimination based on anti-gay animus of the Christofascists steadily being undermined.  No doubt these hate merchants will be shrieking and wailing that the sky is falling merely because they cannot punish us for not buying into their ugly version of Christianity.

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