Monday, October 30, 2006

ATO 'following the law' on gay tax case

THE Australian Tax Office (ATO) says it is merely applying the law in refusing to accept a joint tax return from a married gay couple. The office's refusal follows the addition of a question to tax returns asking about the sex of a taxpayer's spouse, in a new section relating to spouse details. The new question revealed an anomaly for a gay couple from Sydney who were married overseas earlier this year. The pair said they had been allowed to lodge joint returns in previous years but this year revealed the sex of their spouse. The couple said they had tried to lodge their tax return online earlier this year, but it had been rejected. Following that, they received a letter from the ATO saying the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 did not recognise their marriage and that they were not entitled to name each other as spouse on their returns.

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