Cole County Circuit Court rejects plaintiffs’ argument in case regarding joint state tax filings

April 4, 2014

Today the Cole County Circuit Court rejected the plaintiffs’ attempt to stop the Department of Revenue from accepting jointly-filed state tax returns from all legally married couples who file joint federal tax returns, as required under Missouri law.  The ruling provides certainty to Missourians who are preparing to file their taxes before the April 15 deadline.  

Missouri is one of a number of states whose tax code is directly tied to that of the federal government and, under Missouri law, legally married couples who file joint federal tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service must also file joint state returns with the state Department of Revenue.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ruled in August that legally married same-sex couples would be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of where the couple lives. 

Missouri tax law states that couples filing a “joint federal income tax return shall file a combined return,” and that any terms used in Missouri tax law shall have the same meaning “as when used in a comparable context in the laws of the United States relating to federal income taxes.”

In accordance with Missouri law, Gov. Nixon issued an executive order in November directing the Missouri Department of Revenue to accept joint state tax returns from legally married couples who file jointly at the federal level.