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Utah will offer tax benefits to same-sex couples

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – Same-sex couples married prior to the end of the year can file as married on their 2013 Utah tax return.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – Same-sex couples married prior to the end of the year can file as married on their 2013 Utah tax return.

The state tax commission issued filing status guidelines for same-sex couples on Thursday.

"It is important for us that they recognize the validity of the LGBT marriages that have happened so far," said Yvonne Paul, with Utah Pride.

The decision gives those married in Utah between December 20, 2013 and December 31, 2013 the option to file as married.

Same-sex couples married outside of the state prior to the end of the year can also file together.

“Primarily it is a business decision, an administrative decision. It was our people working with the Attorney General's Office, weighing all the factors, when we got started there were a lot more questions than answers, but we feel this is the best way to go,” said Charlie Roberts, with the Utah State Tax Commission.

This decision puts the state in line with the federal tax policy and offers same-sex couples the same tax benefits.

"I think that the tax commission, to its credit has said we realize the issue is on hold right now, but for tax filing purposes if these individuals do file can check the box married and we'll treat them, we'll deal with their exceptions and their other tax deductions as though they are married couples," said legal expert, Greg Skordas.

One more step for supporters as the case works its way through the courts.

"We're staying optimistic and looking forward to the decision by the Supreme Court," said Paul.

More information can be found on the Tax Commission website: http://tax.utah.gov

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