Summersgill testifies on joint filing bill
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Summersgill testifies on joint filing bill

Testimony by Bob Summersgill on the

“Income Tax Joint Filing Clarification Act of 2009,” Bill 18-0312

For the record to the Committee on Taxation and Revenue's hearing, October 15, 2009

Chairman Evans:

Thank you, and your colleagues, Councilmembers Catania, Graham, and Mendelson, for introducing this bill to allow same-sex married couples to file their taxes jointly.

We have an odd situation in the District. The marriage recognition bill, "Jury and Marriage Amendment Act of 2009," did not include the right of same-sex married couples to file taxes jointly, nor does the pending "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009." Married couples in the District must file taxes with the same filing status as they use for their federal returns. However the Defense of Marriage Act prevents the recognition of same-sex couples, so same-sex couples who are recognized as married must still file as single.

You previously addressed this issue for domestic partners in the Domestic Partnerships Joint Filing Act of 2006 (Bill 16-0958, Law 16-0292), but same-sex married couples were not included as the District did not recognize them at the time. This bill follows the same procedures that were worked out for domestic partners.

An amendment is needed. Title 47, section 18 has lingering gender specific language which may undermine the intent of this bill if not corrected. The Committee will need to change the words “husband” and “wife” to “spouse” or “spouses” as appropriate.

I find the terms "husband" and "wife" in § 47-1801.04(26)(A) and throughout § 47-1812(i)(3).

I appreciate your attention to this issue. Please let me know if I can be of assistance in any way. I am available to meet at your convenience if it would be useful.

Thank you.

Bob Summersgill