Press Room

October 10, 2013

Planning For Same-Sex Married Couples – IRS Adopts State Of Celebration Rule

Updating a previous release, in Rev. Rul. 2013-17, 2013-38, IRS ruled that same-sex couples legally married in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of their state of domicile. In doing so, IRS resolved the question of what constitutes a lawful marriage that arose after the Windsor decision and, in the process, effectively dismantled what remained of the Defense of Marriage Act as it pertained to federal tax law. The ruling’s effective date is September 16, 2013.

In announcing this state of celebration rule, Treasury Secretary Jacob L. Lew stated that, “[t]oday’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. 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.”

Along with adopting this position, IRS also provided guidance as to both income and transfer tax filings going forward, as well as returns already filed.With respect to income tax filings, beginning in 2013, all same-sex couples legally married must file their federal income tax returns as either married filing jointly or married filing separately. In addition, 2012 returns not filed as of September 16, 2013 generally must also adhere to this filing requirement. Same-sex married couples living in non-recognition or non-marriage equivalent (for tax purposes) states will continue to file state income tax returns as single despite their married status for federal purposes.

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
October 2013 Issue
Read the entire article here.