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Legal Same-Sex Couples Afforded Recognition under Federal Tax Laws as Married Couples
Posted in Tax and Finance

Same-sex couples, legally married in any jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage, will no longer be left in the dark concerning how the Federal government taxing authorities will treat them following the Windsor decision.  On August 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that legally-married, same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the couple lives in a state that does or does not recognize same-sex marriages.

This ruling is particularly helpful to those persons living in Indiana who have legally-recognized marriages in other states or jurisdictions, because Indiana, to date, does not recognize the marriage of same-sex couples from other jurisdictions.  Such situated individuals previously did not know whether the Windsor decision would have any impact on their federal benefits because of their place of residence.

The ruling, found in Revenue Ruling 2013-17, impacts filing status, personal and dependency exemptions, employee benefits, retirement plans, and earned income and child tax credits.  The Ruling further provides that starting in 2013, those persons who are legally married in any jurisdiction of the United States, its territories, or a foreign country, may file as either married filing jointly or married filing separately.  And for many, the statute of limitations period for filing a refund claim has not expired for the years 2010-2012, so those couples who were in a legal marriage from 2010-2012 may also be able to file a refund claim with the IRS in order to avail themselves of the benefits provided to married couples in those tax years.  This can be particularly helpful with those who paid for health insurance on an after-tax basis (now, it can be claimed on a pre-tax basis and exempt from income) for their spouse.

Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP assists a variety of clients with their family and estate planning needs.  To learn more about Jim Reed and his practice, visit his profile.

  • Partner

    Jim Reed has concentrated his practice in the legal aspect of relationship transitions of all types since graduating from law school. He has been involved in divorce cases with some of the largest marital estates in Indiana. He ...

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