TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Married Gay, Lesbian Couples ‘Refuse to Lie’ on Their Federal Tax Returns

Refuse to Lie An organization called Refuse to Lie is recommending that gay couples whose marriages are recognized under state law but not for federal tax purposes because of the Defense of Marriage Act file their federal tax returns as single taxpayers but attach this disclaimer (detailed tax memo here):

Attachment to Federal Tax Return Affirming Marriage

The above named taxpayer married a person of his/her same sex in [place] in [year]. The taxpayer has not filed this return as "married" (either jointly or separately) solely because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. By filing as "single," the taxpayer is in no way disavowing his/her marriage.

(Hat Tip: Jeremy Bearer-Friend, Francine Lipman.)

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Comments

I'm conflicted about this campaign, though glad to see it's getting media attention. Does this form of tax activism generally prove effective? Is there a history of people using their tax returns to make a statement and then actually winning their cause? My take is that the IRS is just implementing DOMA and isn't in a position to refuse to abide by Congressional mandate.

Anyone know if the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has weighed in on any of the same-sex marriage litigation?

Posted by: bearerfriend | Apr 6, 2011 10:05:24 AM

Oh, how noble! And to show my support for honesty on tax returns, I'm going to sign this statement on mine:

"Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete."

Will I get special mention and praise in the news?!

At least this is better tax advice than given by the tax professor who advised same-sex couples to file amended returns as married filing joint, as that would not likely be caught by the IRS.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 6, 2011 11:10:38 AM