The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) state that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. This applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
The August, 2013 ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Under the ruling, same-sex couples will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, including income and gift and estate taxes. The ruling applies to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an IRA and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit.
Any same-sex marriage legally entered into in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or a foreign country will be covered by the ruling. However, the ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.
Other agencies may provide guidance on other federal programs that they administer that are affected by the Code. Revenue Ruling 2013-17, along with updated Frequently Asked Questions for same-sex couples and updated FAQs for registered domestic partners and individuals in civil unions, are available today on IRS.gov. See also Publication 555, Community Property.
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