IRS Says It Will Recognize All Legal Same-Sex Marriages for Tax Purposes

8:30 pm Tax Planning

IRS Logo 150x150 IRS Says It Will Recognize All Legal Same Sex Marriages for Tax PurposesYesterday, the IRS issued a new rule saying that same-sex couples that are legally married in states that recognize their unions would be treated as married for federal tax purposes.  This ruling applies whether or not legally married same-sex couples currently reside in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.

The IRS said the new ruling implements the federal tax aspects of the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor that invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The new ruling means that same-sex married couples will be treated the same as opposite sex married couples when it comes to federal taxes, including income, gift and estate taxes.  It also applies to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including employee benefits, personal and dependent exemptions, standard deductions, IRA contributions and claiming an earned income tax credit or child tax credit.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” said Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

The new ruling covers any same-sex marriage legally entered into in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or a foreign country.  The IRS noted that the ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.

Legally married same-sex couples that wish to file a refund claim for 2010, 2011 or 2012 federal income taxes can do so using the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040X.  Those who want to file a refund claim for estate or gift taxes should use Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement, Form 843.

To learn more about the extension of federal benefits under Windsor, contact our Orange County law firm.

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