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Colorado Senate passes tax bill for same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage is not legal in Colorado, although same-sex civil unions are. While the federal government is still trying to determine how to deal with many issues impacting same-sex marriages - or the lack thereof in some states - the Colorado Senate passed a bill that could change the way same-sex couples filed their Colorado taxes.

Republicans were opposed to the bill, which passed by a vote along party lines of 18-16. They said that the bill is just another way in which the ban on same-sex marriage in the state is being chipped away.

The bill would require same-sex couples who are in a civil union to have the same filing status on their state taxes as they have on their federal income tax return. This would also affect same-sex couples married in another state but living in Colorado. Their joint filing status on their federal return would be the same on the Colorado return, even if they didn't have a civil union in Colorado.

The bill is now headed to the state's House. It is expected to pass, because the Democrats hold a strong majority there.

According to CNN, 17 states now allow gay marriage, with all but one of the rest of the states having either a statutory or a constitutional ban against it. Family law issues regarding civil unions have become more complex in Colorado, as the first civil divorce was finalized in the state in July 2013, according to The Coloradoan. Family law issues that plague heterosexual divorces, such as child custody, child support and property division, must be dealt with in civil divorces as well. Legal and tax professionals can help same-sex couples learn more about civil divorces and how the new tax bill could affect their lives.

Source: thedenverchannel.com, "Same-sex marriage tax measure passes Colorado Senate" No author given, Jan. 22, 2014

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