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Utah tax officials allow joint filing for married same-sex couples
Change » Utah reverses its policy after the judge ruling that allowed same-sex marriages.

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State Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, is one of the hundreds of members of Utah’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community who wed as soon as Shelby’s decision struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban. He hailed the new tax policy as the right and sensible thing to do.

Pointing to the onerous requirement under the old policy of forcing same-sex couples to prepare separate returns for state and federal taxes using some complex and hypothetical calculations, he said, "it’s good to see that has joined the dust bin of dumb history."

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State Sen. Curt Bramble, a CPA and member of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, said he was "not surprised" by Thursday’s decision to allow joint filing.

"It surprised me when they came out with the first ruling" against joint filing, Bramble said. "As a [tax] practitioner, I didn’t think they could do that because we piggyback on the federal system."

He did question the process for making the policy. "Usually, when they issue an advisory opinion or a regulation — a tax commission rule — they announce the meeting and they have a discussion" in a public meeting.

The Tax Commission has declined to provide The Tribune requested correspondence between it and the governor’s legal counsel and attorney general’s office prior to the initial joint filing decision, saying those records are protected by attorney-client privilege. The newspaper is appealing the denial.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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