Tax Implications of the DOMA Repeal & Same Sex Couples

Pursuant to the recent Supreme Court decision on the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, the Treasury Department issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17, which treats legally married same-sex couples as married for federal tax purposes.

Now, same sex couples married in California, Delaware, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Minnesota, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia must file as either Married Filing Separately or Married Filing Jointly on their federal tax return.  If they are no longer living in one of the states that legally recognize same-sex marriage, the couple will still file the federal tax return as married filing separately or jointly, but they will have to prepare separate state returns.

Additionally, if same sex couples are in relationships recognized by the state as domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar formal relationships that are not explicitly defined as marriage under that state law, then they must file separate federal tax returns and cannot file as married filing separately or married filing jointly.

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