The Internal Revenue Service will now treat gay marriages equally under federal tax law, following this summer’s landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the same-sex marriage ban in the Defense of Marriage Act. The announcement was made today by the IRS and the Treasury Department, and it makes clear that all same-sex couples will be treated the same, even if they live in states where gay marriage is not legal.
The Supreme Court decision now allows same-sex couples to receive the same federal benefits as straight couples. However, the same benefits will not apply to civil unions or registered domestic partnerships, as a press release from the Treasury Department explains, but it makes clear right at the top that this will apply to same-sex couples even in “a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.”
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew touts the new guidelines in a statement as finally giving equal rights and benefits to same-sex marriages.
“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve… This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”
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