OK same-sex couple amends tax returns to "married"
|Updated: 9/09 7:06 pm
||Published: 9/09 5:14 pm
Same sex couples married in other Oklahoma states now have the right to file joint tax returns.
The reported couple in Oklahoma to file amended tax returns lives in Tulsa
"It felt so good, it felt so good to know that the government was going to treat me equal," said Charles Johnston. "It felt really good to check off that tax return," said Charles Johnston.
He met his husband, Kelly Kirby, in 1999 and married in California in 2008. Despite their marriage, the Oklahomans had to check the "single" status on their tax returns.
"That really grated on me, that really grated on me. I am not single I am married. I have a license," said Kirby.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and on Aug. 29 the IRS announced it would recognize legally married same sex couples as married on their federal returns.
"It cleared the decks there are no questions left," said Kirby.
But questions still loom if the Oklahoma will recognize it under its tax code. Oklahoma does not recognize the same-sex marriages but under the tax code it requires you to file the same status on your state returns as your federal return.
"We do expect the same rights," said Johnston.
On Thursday, Johnston and Kirby filed amended federal and state returns under the new federal guidelines.
"It was a catch of my throat. Most people would think taxes would be a mundane issue but it's a federal recognition of our relationship," said Kirby.
Although they are expected to receive about $150 from the federal government, they owe Oklahoma about $212.
"I thought about it as a price of admission to the conversation," said Kirby.
Many of the 400 couples legally married and living in Oklahoma say it's not about money but about equality.
"It seems like there is there is wall of discrimination and it is getting chipped away," said Johnston.
Oklahoma Tax Commission spokesperson Paula Ross says the IRS ruling is under review by its legal division.
Depending on their findings, the tax code may have to change, which will take Legislature approval.
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