Historic year for same-sex couples filing 2013 taxes - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Historic year for same-sex couples filing 2013 taxes

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Filing your 2013 taxes. Is it a milestone moment in your life? It is for some same-sex couples who are able to file as "married" for the first time.

But it's also causing some issues. Same-sex couples across the United States will have their marriages officially recognized by the federal government on their federal taxes. But in the Mid-South, where the unions are not recognized, it's causing confusion.

MORE: myFOXMemmphis.com tax guide

Going through the receipts, filing out the paperwork, all the calculations; filing your taxes is never a task to look forward to.

But this year is different for some couples.

MORE: Tax issues for same-sex spouses

"Nobody gets excited about taxes, but the reality is, it is another step forward," said Paul Eknes-Tucker. "For that we're really grateful we're living in this time to make that step."

Paul and Bill Eknes-Tucker were married in Toronto in 2005 and have always had to file taxes separately. Paul is a pastor and Bill is retired. This year the federal government is recognizing same-sex married couples for the first time.

Tennessee doesn't recognize their marriage, but because there is no state income tax, they're not anticipating any problems.

"Now the downside is we're probably going to end up paying more taxes," Paul Eknes-Tucker said. "Still it feels like a validation of something that was very special to us."

But in Mississippi, where there is a state income tax, things aren't so simple. Jason and Blair Lowe were married in Washington, D.C. in 2012. They are filing jointly federally and single for their state taxes.

It hasn't been easy for them, or their certified public accountant.

"To file state she has to create a dummy return for each of us filing individually to get the numbers to file our state taxes," said Blair Lowe. "It's very frustrating, especially knowing it's not needed."

Jason and Blair say they've started enjoying some marriage benefits heterosexual couples take for granted, like Blair's Army veteran benefits, and now Blair is now on Jason's company health insurance.

But in the eyes of the State of Mississippi, these men are single.

"What is right is I'm an American. He's an American," said Jason Lowe. "We're married just like other married couples and we should be able to have the same benefits at both the federal and state level as all other married couples."

But Jason said filing as married federally, is a first step, something these couples see this as a moment in history.

"We've been legally married for all these years and never was able to do that," said Paul Eknes-Tucker." All of a sudden this year we get to. It's kind of like, Wow, we get to be like everybody else."

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