Senator Elizabeth Warren has reintroduced a bill which—if passed—could see same-sex couples in the United States receiving $57 million worth of refunds in tax.
Same-sex marriage was already legal in 10 states when—in 2013—the Defense of Marriage Act was finally struck down. This act meant that married same-sex couples in these 10 states had been filing federal tax returns as individuals instead of as couples for years, ultimately paying higher taxes as a result.
When the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned by the Supreme Court, same-sex married couples in these states were allowed to amend their tax returns—but only for the previous three years.
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s bill would give some same-sex couples significant tax refunds
Warren’s bill, which is called the Refund Equality Act, aims to allow same-sex couples who were married in those 10 states before 2013 to amend their federal taxes from the time they were married, which would allow them to claim taxes back, according to the Washington Examiner.
A report from the Joint Committee on Taxation this week found that these couples could be eligible to receive up to $57 million back in overpaid taxes if the bill is passed.
“Our government owes them more than $50m for the years our discriminatory tax code left them out. We must right these wrongs.”
– Senator Elizabeth Warren
The bill was originally introduced in 2017 and was co-sponsored by 36 members of Congress, according to Mic.com. Despite this, it stalled in Congress, which led Warren to reintroduce it this year.
Senator Warren branded the tax code as ‘discriminatory’
In a tweet, Warren said: “It wasn’t until marriage equality became law that gay & lesbian couples could jointly file tax returns—so they paid more in taxes. Our government owes them more than $50m for the years our discriminatory tax code left them out. We must right these wrongs.”
“The federal government forced legally married same-sex couples in Massachusetts to file as individuals and pay more in taxes for almost a decade,” Senator Warren said in a statement.
“We need to call out that discrimination and to make it right — Congress should pass the Refund Equality Act immediately.”
The bill has been co-sponsored by 42 senators.
Senator Warren previously announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in February of this year.
In a video launching her bid to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race, she featured a Pride parade and a same-sex wedding.