On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional in U.S. v. Windsor. Prior to the ruling, DOMA required same-sex spouses to be treated as unmarried for federal law purposes.
Now, many tax breaks are available to legally married same-sex couples, such as the right to file a joint return, the ability for either spouse to utilize the marital deduction and exclusion for estate and gift tax purposes, the ability to get tax-free employer health coverage, the alimony deduction, and innocent spouse relief.
Following the ruling, the IRS issued guidance to assist tax preparers and taxpayers. Same-sex couples who are legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages are treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the resident state recognizes same-sex marriage. This applies for all federal tax purposes, such as income, gift and estate taxes, and to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, such as filing status, personal and dependency exemptions, and standard deduction.
The filing status change to either married filing joint or married filing separate is mandatory going forward. Any original 2013 return or 2012 return filed after September 15, 2013 must be filed with these filing statuses. Amended returns can be, but are not required to be, filed with these filing statuses within the statute of limitations period. Generally, this is 3 years from the date the return was filed or 2 years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later
Gender neutral terms in the Internal Revenue Code referring to marital status, such as spouse or marriage, include lawful same-sex individuals and marriages. The term “marriage” does not include registered domestic partnerships and civil unions, even for opposite sex couples.
IRS guidance: IR-2013-72
Shared via my feedly reader