Pro-Family Group Urges IRS To Investigate Same-Sex Couples Who File As Married Couples

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - A pro-family group is calling on the Internal Revenue Services to investigate same-sex couples who may be filing their taxes as a married couple after illegally receiving marriage licenses in cities like San Francisco.

The Public Advocate of the United States recently sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson warning of the potential fraudulent tax scheme.

"The matter we are writing you about has to do with the recent practices, in certain jurisdictions throughout the United States -- including specifically San Francisco, California -- of rebellious state and local officials reportedly permitting persons of the same sex to marry in flagrant disobedience of applicable laws defining marriage as a union between a male and a female," wrote Public Advocate President Eugene A. Delgaudio.

"Persons engaging in such wedding ceremonies, based upon certain published accounts, seek the legal status afforded by lawful marriage so that they may avail themselves of various benefits of marital status despite the illegality of such 'marriages,'" added Delgaudio.

He called the potential for people to evade federal and state income tax "quite significant."

"By declaring themselves 'married,' and submitting joint federal tax returns, for example, such persons could attempt to benefit from the 'married filing jointly' or 'married filing separately' federal income tax rates currently available only to a 'husband' and a 'wife' who are legitimately married," Delgaudio said.

He acknowledged that filing as married couples, either separately or jointly, "causes two persons to pay less tax than two single individuals" depending on "the specifics of each situation."

"However, where there is a tax benefit to be had, persons other than lawfully married 'husbands' and 'wives' claiming to be married could be an effort to avail themselves of federal tax benefits to which they are not entitled, and would be blatantly illegal," Delgaudio said.

He warned that such a tax fraud schemer could "mushroom into a dangerous tax scam" throughout the country. "Although we have no idea at this time concerning the aggregate impact of such a scheme on the federal government, the loss of revenues to the federal government from federal income taxes clearly would be substantial," Delgaudio said.

He urged the IRS to publish an announcement or notice in the Internal Revenue Bulletin about the scheme and warn that the IRS would monitor such activity and prosecute anyone participating in the unlawful activity to the fullest extent of the law.

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