The Obama Administration announced today that same-sex couples who are legally married are allowed the same federal tax benefits as heterosexual couples. The United States Treasury (“US Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has provided tax filing guidance for same-sex couples nationwide.
After the landmark Supreme Court ruling this past June holding that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits and struck down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. Under the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, the federal government denied recognition of gay marriages. However because of the recent Supreme Court ruling, same-sex couples will be granted the same rights as heterosexual couples for tax filing purposes.
The Supreme Court ruling applies to same-sex couples regardless of whether the state in which they reside recognizes their union. They would be entitled to federal benefits if they were legally married in a state that allowed same-sex marriage. Several states that allow same-sex marriages include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Washington, D.C. has also legalized same-sex marriages.
The ruling does not apply to individuals in Registered Domestic Partnerships or in Civil Unions. These individuals are still required to file as “unmarried” on federal income tax forms.