The IRS Has Spoken: Legal Same-Sex Marriage Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/12/2013

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued a joint news release and Revenue Ruling 2013-17, in which the agencies announced that same-sex married couples will be recognized as legally married for federal tax purposes, regardless of where they reside, so long as they were married in any U.S. state or territory, or a foreign country, that legally recognizes same-sex marriages.  This ruling implements federal tax aspects of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307, 570 U.S. ____ (June 26, 2013), in which the Court invalidated key portions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, as discussed in our earlier blog on the Court’s decision on DOMA.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew remarked that the ruling assures married same-sex couples that their federal filing status will not change and that there can be clear, certain and coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married couples, same-sex included.  Makes perfect sense to me.

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