Members of Congress Introduce Refund Equality Act to Provide Equal Tax Treatment for Married Same-Sex Couples
Jul 13 2017
Washington - Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined 72 congressional colleagues today to introduce the Refund Equality Act of 2017. This legislation would ensure that legally-married same-sex couples - who until the U.S. Supreme Court's 2013 Windsor decision were barred from filing federal taxes jointly - are permitted to file amended tax returns back to the date of their marriage.
Currently, married couples who previously filed taxes separately are permitted to file amended joint returns dating back up to three years, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) lacks the authority to override this limitation. As a result, same-sex couples who were married in jurisdictions recognizing same-sex marriage prior to Windsor are unable to claim refunds for years they were legally married. The Refund Equality Act would permit these couples to amend their tax returns for these years, allowing them to file jointly and to secure an estimated total of $67 million in refunds to which they are entitled.
The legislation is cosponsored by 32 senators, including Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jack Reed (D-R.I), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
Additionally, 40 members of the House of Representatives cosponsored the legislation.
A face sheet on the legislation is available here and the text of the bill is available here.