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The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.The ruling applies regardle

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JL A (281)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 8:24 pm

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Treasury and IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes; Ruling Provides Certainty, Benefits and Protections Under Federal Tax Law for Same-Sex Married Couples

IR-2013-72, Aug. 29, 2013

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling 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 ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26 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.

Legally-married same-sex couples generally must file their 2013 federal income tax return using either the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status.

Individuals who were in same-sex marriages may, but are not required to, file original or amended returns choosing to be treated as married for federal tax purposes for one or more prior tax years still open under the statute of limitations.

Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a refund claim is three years from the date the return was filed or two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. As a result, refund claims can still be filed for tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012. Some taxpayers may have special circumstances, such as signing an agreement with the IRS to keep the statute of limitations open, that permit them to file refund claims for tax years 2009 and earlier.

Additionally, employees who purchased same-sex spouse health insurance coverage from their employers on an after-tax basis may treat the amounts paid for that coverage as pre-tax and excludable from income.

How to File a Claim for Refund

Taxpayers who wish to file a refund claim for income taxes should use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Taxpayers who wish to file a refund claim for gift or estate taxes should file Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. For information on filing an amended return, see Tax Topic 308, Amended Returns, available on, or the Instructions to Forms 1040X and 843. Information on where to file your amended returns is available in the instructions to the form.

Future Guidance

Treasury and the IRS intend to issue streamlined procedures for employers who wish to file refund claims for payroll taxes paid on previously-taxed health insurance and fringe benefits provided to same-sex spouses. Treasury and IRS also intend to issue further guidance on cafeteria plans and on how qualified retirement plans and other tax-favored arrangements should treat same-sex spouses for periods before the effective date of this Revenue Ruling.

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 See also Publication 555, Community Property.

Treasury and the IRS will begin applying the terms of Revenue Ruling 2013-17 on Sept. 16, 2013, but taxpayers who wish to rely on the terms of the Revenue Ruling for earlier periods may choose to do so, as long as the statute of limitations for the earlier period has not expired.

Nicole W (646)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 8:42 pm
wow, thank you JL!

Sue H (7)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 8:43 pm

Esther Z (94)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 8:58 pm
I feel like I'm in a dream....a good dream! :)

Mary T (358)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 8:59 pm
this is great news

Terry V (30)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 10:21 pm

JL A (281)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 10:31 pm
You are welcome Nyack, Nicole and Terry!

Jim P (3257)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 10:44 pm
Very good news! About time this is now taking place in all states.

At least now that it is a federal document, it should take place in all states.
There are a few states that will not abide by this ruling and will try to challenge it
in their state courts.

Ty, JL.

steve F (23)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 10:53 pm
i think it is just as good that the feds announced that they will NOT override state laws concerning the use and possession of a certain weed/herb that is widely in use by some folks ... who really aren't criminals. with the highest incarcerated population in the world - 1 out of 5 folks in jail are in there for non-violent drug offenses ( time for a new perspective. perhaps?

Jim P (3257)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 11:47 pm
Rachel Maddow explains both the IRS ruling and the Marijuana ruling in her show
on Thursday night, August 29, 2013.


Ty, JL.

Jae A (316)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 11:47 pm
Steve...making this news the second good news of the day :-) ...for Mac and I personally. Thus to us this twaz a pretty upbeat news day via the two announcements.

Puffpuffpass :-)

Sherri G (128)
Thursday August 29, 2013, 11:55 pm
TY JL for the update and Jim for letting me know to tape Rachel at 1AM tonight. Noted

Past Member (0)
Friday August 30, 2013, 5:07 am
Great! It's long overdue...thanks JL

Lisa N (206)
Friday August 30, 2013, 5:32 am
Thanks J.L.

Barbara K (60)
Friday August 30, 2013, 5:37 am
Great news for those affected, it should have happened a long time ago. Thanks, my friend.

Nancy M (197)
Friday August 30, 2013, 6:07 am
Great news. Thanks.

Kit B (276)
Friday August 30, 2013, 8:01 am

Finally, one big step toward equal rights.

Debra L (34)
Friday August 30, 2013, 10:19 am
I hope that sets young people up with condoning of Sexual Acts are okay even with the GOVT? In the BIBLE it's quoted as a SIN Against GOD & Nature to lay with the Same Sexual Origin of your kind. I don't think this is good message to be sending to our youth, I GUESS ANYTHING GOE'S NOW, I see that the devil is winning the hearts of even FEDERAL GOVT OFFICIALS, LOCALLY, Statewide & Federally, It's going to Backfire on whomever condone's this SIN. I promise you that! I wished they wouldn't ALLOW this SICKENESS In the WORLD!

Laura H (964)
Friday August 30, 2013, 10:21 am
Civil rights for ALL!!!!
Equal rights for ALL!!!!

Van voorst coll C (325)
Friday August 30, 2013, 11:36 am
Great news!Thanks for sharing dearest JL!

Jamie Clemons (282)
Friday August 30, 2013, 1:22 pm
good its about time.

Sheila D (194)
Friday August 30, 2013, 1:54 pm
To Debra R - I'll pray for your forgiveness...All of those "good Christians" out there need to remember only one thing: Judge NOT, lest ye be judged. You seem to have judged everyone who does not believe the same way as yourselves. Not matter how much forgiveness you ask for, you won't be forgiven for making the same mistake - judging others. That is Only for God, not man to do.

JL A (281)
Friday August 30, 2013, 2:13 pm
Thanks GGma.
The Bible was once used in like manner to discriminate against blacks, justify slavery and to fight interracial marriage by those motivated by hatred of those different themselves instead of loving them as a neighbor as Jesus stated in the Bible was the most important command after loving God.
Civil marriage was never intended to be religious --thus the government now strips this secular, civil issue from those who would try to impose their religious views on the State and a set of civil rights that all are equally entitled to under the Constitution.

Birgit W (160)
Friday August 30, 2013, 3:09 pm
Good, thanks.

jan b (5)
Friday August 30, 2013, 3:24 pm
This should create a lot of fraud.

JL A (281)
Friday August 30, 2013, 3:38 pm
No more fraud than with heterosexual couples filing when they aren't married. There are other official databases the IRS can check with to verify changes in marital status and law permits a request of a copy of the marriage license.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday August 30, 2013, 8:29 pm
Thanks!! :)
I'm glad to see it.

pam w (139)
Friday August 30, 2013, 10:21 pm
As it SHOULD be!

JL A (281)
Friday August 30, 2013, 10:24 pm
You are welcome Stephen.
You cannot currently send a star to pam because you have done so within the last day.

pam w (139)
Friday August 30, 2013, 10:24 pm
Oh...and Debra R.....this might come as an enormous shock to you but....we're NOT living in the United States of Christ and your bible is NOT the law of the land. Never was....never will be.

Kindly excuse the rest of us for not living our lives based on your hateful ''moral'' code.


Stephen Brian (23)
Friday August 30, 2013, 11:09 pm
I just want to add a detail here:

Wherever anybody stands on homosexual marriage, it is the place of the state-government to determine its own laws. More to the point, this legal right stems from the moral and practical issue of having states determine how they should be best governed, within the constraints of norms dictated by those upon whose support the states depend to function (voters, taxpayers, and other vital groups). That includes governance of the recognition of combined households.

The intents of the relevant sections of the tax-code is to address the issue of an economic union and to stabilize child-rearing. It is not the place of the federal government to dictate economic structures to the states which have already been entrusted with handling such matters. Therefore if, in the view of the state, such unions are recognized, it is in keeping with the intent of the law that these sections be applied.

Just for full disclosure, my position on the matter is that the government should get out of the marriage-business (homosexual or heterosexual) entirely, and that it should recognize economic unions and child-rearing unions separately, applying relevant sections of law in each case. Today, marriages are seen as being about the individual members of the couple, not the families or households, and, with the modern rate of single parenthood, certainly not about children, and I believe the law should keep up with change on the ground and stop assuming that marriage has all of the same practical implications that it traditionally did.

Diane K (134)
Saturday August 31, 2013, 7:37 am
noted. thanks

JL A (281)
Saturday August 31, 2013, 7:38 am
You are welcome Diane.

Barbara V (51)
Saturday August 31, 2013, 6:08 pm
Debra R: Why don't you go somewhere and grow up? You are doing a fantastic job of exposing your ignorance and Right Wing bias on this issue. You have absolutely no idea what you are saying, and hiding behind the cloak of fundamental religion isn't going to educate you. It certainly didn't help the blokes who wrote the Old Testament. Get a life! If you want to follow Christ, read his words. He evoked kindness and compassion, which you're not.
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