"All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday," reports The New York Times.
The I.R.S. ruling will apply to same-sex married couples for 2013. It will also apply retroactively so that some married couples can re-file or amend their taxes in order to seek a refund. On the other hand, it is unclear if couples who would owe additional taxes for filing as "married" v. "single" will be required to pay those additional taxes and penalties. Hopefully, those couples who owe additional taxes, but who were not able to avail themselves of the federal rights and benefits of marriage under the Defense of Marriage Act, won't be hit with additional taxes. Additional clarification is needed from the Treasury and is likely pending.
The federal tax provisions only apply to those couples who are married. It does not apply to couples in a domestic partnership, civil union, or other legal relationship.
Same-sex couples should consult a tax attorney or accountant to determine what this ruling and the end of the Defense of Marriage Act means for them. The Law Office of Sean C. Sobottka cannot provide tax advice.