What You Need to Know About DOMA Same-Sex Marriage and Taxes


Recently the U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS ruled that same sex-couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize same sex marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. However, couples who have a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or similar formal relationship recognized under state law do not fall under this ruling. This ruling comes after the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA.

 


Same-sex couples married in the following states may now file their taxes as either “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately”:


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Massachusetts


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Connecticut


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Iowa


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Vermont


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New Hampshire


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New York


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Main


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Maryland


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Washington


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Delaware


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Rhode Island


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Minnesota


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The District of Columbia

 


The ruling applies even if the couple lives in a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriages.

 


For all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor such as filing status, claiming person and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an IRA and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit legally married same-sex couples are treated as married.

 


Individuals who were in same-sex marriages may file original or amended returns choosing to be treated as married for federal tax purposes for years still open under the statute of limitations. Typically, 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.

 


Refund claims for the years 2010, 2011, and 2012 can still be filed. Some taxpayers may have special circumstances that may permit them to file refund claims for tax years 2009 and earlier. If your client wishes to file a refund claim for income taxes use

Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

. If your client wishes to file a refund claim for gift or estate taxes, file

Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement.