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Elizabeth Warren bill would refund taxes to gay couples

Nick Duffy July 13, 2017
Elizabeth Warren LGBT rights record: Democratic Senator dancing at Boston Pride in 2018

Senator Elizabeth Warren at Boston Pride 2018. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senator Elizabeth Warren has submitted a bill that would require the US government to refund gay couples the cost of overpaid taxes.

Until 2013, the US government barred married gay couples from jointly filing taxes.

Under the now-defunct Defence of Marriage Act rules, gay couples who were legally married under state law were forced to continue paying federal taxes as individuals.

This meant that many couples ended up paying far more in tax than their heterosexual counterparts would have.

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 01: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (R) participates in a question-and-answer interview with CNN host Jake Tapper during the seventh annual Washington Ideas Forum at the Harman Center for the Arts October 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. Warren continued to talk about issues that are important to her, including income inequality, during the forum, which was organized by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A proposal today attempts to correct the historical injustice.

Left-wing Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren today introduced a bill to Congress which would compensate gay couples who were forced to overpay taxes.

Senator Warren introduced the Refund Equality Act, which would permit gay couples to amend their tax returns and file jointly.

The change could secure an estimated total of $67 million in refunds for married gay couples.

Senator Warren said: “For nearly a decade, legally married same-sex couples had to file their taxes as single persons, often paying more taxes than they would owe if they could file as married.

“This bill is a simple fix to allow same-sex couples to claim the tax refunds they earned but were denied because of who they love.”

30 senators and 39 members of the House of Representatives cosponsored the legislation.

Rep. Richard Neal, who submitted the bill in the House, said: “All legally married couples in this country deserve to be treated equally.

“This bill would codify into law an important correction that would enable same-sex married couples to go back and claim the tax refunds and credits for which they qualify.

“The Supreme Court has ruled as such, and now it’s time for Congress to act and make sure all Americans are treated with the fairness and equality they deserve under the law.”

All of the listed sponsors are Democrats.

The Republicans hold majorities in both houses.

More: Elizabeth Warren, Gay, LGBT, senator, Senator Warren, US

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