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Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Tax Purposes

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Sep 04, 2013 | 0 Comments

In a recent joint press release, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that same-sex married couples will be recognized as legally married for all federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of where the couples reside so long as they were married in a jurisdiction that recognizes such marriages as legal. However, the ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.

In conjunction with their announcement, the Treasury Department and IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 outlining their position on the matter. In the release, the IRS states, “The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26th Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act” (IR-2013-73).

Generally speaking, legally married same-sex couples must file their 2013 federal income tax returns using either the “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately” filing status, the IRS said.

In addition to the 2013 tax year, the recent ruling also impacts prior tax years for legally married same-sex couples who were married prior to the ruling. These taxpayers may choose to file original, amended, or adjusted returns to be treated as married for federal tax purposes for prior tax years still open under the statute of limitations. Couples may also file for claims for credit or refund for any overpayment of tax resulting from the holdings, “so long as the applicable limitations period for filing such claim under Tax Code Section 6511 has not expired,” the IRS said.

To read the Revenue Ruling, follow this link:

About the Author

Paul D. Woodard

Paul Woodard practices in the areas of Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Pension and Profit Sharing Plans, ERISA, ERISA Litigation, Business Law, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and Estate Planning.


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