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Tax Bites: Married same-sex couples treated as married for federal tax purposes

DMLO Weekly Tax Bites

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision regarding same-sex marriage, the IRS recently clarified that married same-sex couples will be treated as married for all federal tax provisions in which marriage is a factor, such as filing status, dependent exemptions and child credits, and gift and estate tax breaks.

Significantly, the Supreme Court decision extended federal marriage-related benefits only to same-sex married couples in states recognizing their union; the IRS ruling expands eligibility for marriage-related federal tax benefits to same-sex married couples in all states, as long as they were married in a jurisdiction recognizing their marriage.

In light of the ruling, same-sex married couples should:

  • Evaluate how changing their filing status to “married” will affect their 2013 tax liability, and factor that into their year end tax planning
  • Determine whether they can receive a tax refund for previous years if they file amended returns as a married couple
  • Decide whether any changes to their estate plans are warranted to take advantage of the federal gift and estate tax benefits available to married couples

These are only some of the tax areas requiring attention. Please contact us for more information on the impact of the IRS ruling.

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