Although it cannot recognize same-sex married couples because of a 2004 state constitutional amendment, Ohio has issued a tax form for same-sex couples who file federal taxes jointly.
The new Ohio Schedule IT-S, “Federal AGI to be Reported by Same-Gender Taxpayers Filing a Joint Federal Return,” allows couples to use their adjusted gross income from their joint federal return, while still filing as individuals in the state. Thus, they will not pay the “marriage penalty” that married couples often pay on their income taxes, which also costs the state that money.
Same-sex couples in a jurisdiction that allows such nuptials are allowed to file joint federal returns after the June Supreme Court decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. After that ruling, which decided that the federal government could recognize same-sex marriages, President Barack Obama ordered federal agencies, including the IRS, to recognize same-sex couples.
Ian James, founder of Freedom Ohio, noted, “The irony here is that since the state of Ohio is forbidden to recognize legal marriages of same-gender couples, it forces married gay couples to file taxes individually rather than jointly, and in turns gives significant tax benefit to married gay couples that married straight couples are not permitted to receive.”
“While many will appreciate the extra tax benefits, this separate and unequal treatment of families is unfair, unequal and is not the treatment we seek,” he noted.