The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) allows same-sex married couple to enjoy the tax benefits of marriage regardless if the state they reside in recognizes their marriage. Same-sex spouses can now file their tax returns jointly as a married couple.
However, same-sex couples may face an increase or decrease in their tax liability, depending on their financial and personal situations. Same-sex spouses will not be able to file tax returns as single individuals anymore because they are now recognized as married for tax purposes but they can file married filing separately.
It is believed states will respond with their own guidelines after the declaration by the IRS. States that do not recognize gay marriage will need to clarify their stance. Same-sex couples will need to do a lot of paperwork and preferably seek professional tax help to understand their new tax benefits and liabilities or file past year returns.
This landmark decision is being celebrated by gay rights advocates. Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said, “Committed and loving gay and lesbian married couples will now be treated equally under our nation’s federal tax laws, regardless of what state they call home.”