Same-sex married couples may now check the “married” box on their federal tax returns even if their own states do not recognize their unions.
Some of those couples will find themselves paying less than before, while others will pay more, according to an article in the New York Times.
The IRS has set down rules that will either save or cost such couples money. It all depends on how much they earn, whether both parties are working and whether, together, they earn too much to claim the same types of tax-saving deductions they claimed while they were filing as singles. Many of these deductions end as incomes rise.
Generally, couples will pay less in taxes if one spouse is not working or if one spouse earns much more than the other. High-income couples with two working spouses will generally pay more in taxes.
Such couples may also claim refunds dating back three years. Prior returns would have to be amended.
As far as state tax returns are concerned, same-sex married couples may file jointly in states that recognize same-sex marriages. What will happen in states that don’t allow such unions remains murky.