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Conservative German lawmakers back tax breaks for gay, lesbian couples

BY GEIR MOULSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

BERLIN -- A group of lawmakers from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party called Tuesday for same-sex couples in civil partnerships to be given the same tax breaks as heterosexual married couples, but the idea faced skepticism among traditionally minded colleagues.

Granting gay couples the same income tax breaks enjoyed by heterosexual married couples would add to a string of departures from conservative orthodoxy under Merkel's leadership. Those have included abandoning military conscription and speeding up Germany's exit from nuclear power.

In Germany, same-sex couples have been able to register civil partnerships that legally fall short of formal marriage since 2001. Heterosexual married couples can, unlike same-sex couples, reduce their tax burden by filing joint income tax returns, thus paying less than single taxpayers.

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Relieving people of back tax cuts is always a good solution. Back taxes only create more issues, in my opinion and are one of the contributors to slow economic growth. I think it is great that they are being given this chance to clean things up. I had an issue with back taxes once and as soon as it was past me I promised myself that I would never get into that situation again. Luckily, I had a great tax debt relief specialist on my side.

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