Missouri Same-Sex Married Couples Can File Jointly

11/15/2013

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has stated that he is directing the Missouri Department of Revenue to accept tax returns filed jointly by same-sex couples who are legally married in other states but have income in Missouri. Nixon said he would take the action with an executive order.

Nixon says the action is necessary due to the ruling of the United States Supreme Court (the Windsor decision).  He specifically stated that same-sex marriages are not sanctioned in Missouri (in fact same-sex marriages are banned in Missouri under a 2004 amendment to the Constitution).

In the Windsor case, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service then ruled legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes no matter where they live.  Nixon says because Missouri’s tax code is tied directly to the federal government, and the state requires married couples who file joint federal returns to also file state taxes jointly, he had to take action.

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones disputes the Governor’s interpretation and calls on Nixon to produce a legal opinion from Attorney General Chris Koster justifying the executive order.  In a statement, Jones accuses the Governor of defying Missouri voters and, “unlawfully ignoring a constitutional amendment to provide the Governor’s liberal allies a policy victory."