Same-sex married couples in Maryland will be able to file joint tax returns but they'll have to wait a year to do so.
Comptroller Peter Franchot said Wednesday in a statement that "same-sex couples in the State of Maryland – whether married in this state or in other states – will have the opportunity to file joint tax returns for Tax Year 2013, and will receive the same state tax treatment as any married couple."
The comptroller issued the statement a day after a Washington Times story reported that same-sex couples in Maryland would not be eligible to file jointly.
Franchot said the story "contained significant misinformation regarding the tax filing status of same-sex couples in Maryland."
That story raises questions about Maryland's tax code that could prevent same-sex couples from filing jointly, including some federal laws.
Franchot said those hurdles will be cleared in the next year and open the door to same-sex couples filing jointly in the state.
"This will occur either as a result of a legislative action, or if necessary, a regulatory change, either of which is necessary because Maryland’s tax code is conjoined to the IRS unless specifically decoupled. My senior staff and I will work with legislative leaders over the next few weeks to determine the most appropriate course of action," Franchot said in his statement.
The changes, if they occur, will allow same-sex couples to file jointly for the tax year 2013—which is actually filed by April 15, 2014.
"I proudly testified in strong support of the Civil Marriage Protection Act and remain a steadfast supporter of marriage equality," Franchot said. "Honoring Maryland’s hard-earned reputation for fairness and equality, this change will afford same-sex couples with the rights and protections commensurate with their obligations as taxpayers.”
Maryland voters approved a state law sanctioning same-sex marriage in Maryland. The first marriages are expected to take place after the first of the year.