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Nixon: State Taxes Will Mirror Federal Taxes for All Legally Married Missouri Couples

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An executive order from Gov. Nixon will be issued Thursday, Nov. 14, directing the Missouri Department of Revenue to accept jointly-filed state tax returns of all legally married couples, including same-sex couples who were legally married in other states who file joint federal tax returns under Missouri law.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An executive order from Gov. Nixon will be issued Thursday, Nov. 14, directing the Missouri Department of Revenue to accept jointly-filed state tax returns of all legally married couples, including same-sex couples who were legally married in other states who file joint federal tax returns under Missouri law.

According to a statement from Gov. Nixon’s press secretary, Missouri tax law states that couples filing a joint federal income tax return should be a combine return. It also states that any terms used in Missouri tax law should have the same meaning as when used in a comparable context in the laws of the United States relating to federal income taxes.
 
“Missouri is one of a number of states whose tax code is directly tied to that of the federal government and under Missouri law, legally married couples who file joint federal tax returns with the IRS must also file joint state returns with our state Department of Revenue,” says Gov. Nixon in a statement. “As a result, accepting the jointly-filed state tax returns of all legally-married couples who file federal returns is the only appropriate course of action, given Missouri statutes and the ruling by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.”
 
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ruled in August that legally married same-sex couples would be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of where the couple lives.  

Gov. Nixon says his executive order applies only to the specific issue of tax filing status and does not in any way authorize or sanction same-sex marriage in Missouri, which the state’s constitution does not recognize.
 
Under the executive order, any federal exemptions or deductions that married couples can receive that are reflected in their federal adjusted gross income will therefore be reflected on their state tax return. However, the order does not change the eligibility for any state-level exemptions, deductions or credits.
 
“We applaud the governor for giving clarity to same-sex couples and providing guidance on how we complete tax return information in the state of Missouri,” says A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO, in a statement.

PROMO is Missouri's statewide advocacy organization promoting equal treatment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
 
In a statement, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says the order defies Missouri voters.

“Once again, Governor Nixon is trying to play to all sides of every issue, indulging his liberal ideals while hedging his bets by saying the courts have forced his hand," says Jones in the statement. "The Governor’s job is to defend our state’s constitution – including the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, that was passed overwhelmingly in this state - not to surrender to the whims of the Obama administration. This executive order is nothing but an attempt to violate the voters’ will, unlawfully ignoring a constitutional amendment to provide the Governor’s liberal allies a policy victory. Furthermore, I would call upon Gov. Nixon to supply the legal opinion from Attorney General Koster providing the justification for the action he took today in ignoring the Constitution of the State of Missouri."


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