by Rex Wockner
H&R Block will give a $100 coupon or free TaxCut software to married and civil-union gay couples who were blocked from using TaxCut Online to prepare their 2007 income taxes.
In some states, such couples are required to file their state taxes as a married couple, while all such individuals are required to file their federal income taxes as if they were single.
TaxCut Online wasn’t configured to deal with that disconnect.
“We’re pleased that H&R Block has decided to do right by gay couples throughout the country,” said Rebecca Shore of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, which had pressured the company. “Saying you’ve been civilly united will never be the same as saying you’re married, but at least gay couples will no longer face the prospect of paying more to prepare their taxes.”
The ACLU represented Jason Smith and Settimio Pisu, a Connecticut couple who attempted to use the company’s online service only to be informed by the software, “We Don’t Support Connecticut Civil Union Returns.”
Connecticut law bans discrimination based on civil-union status.