After the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, speculations flew about how the IRS will determine the tax rights of married gay couples. The IRS finally declared that from now on same-sex couples will receive the same tax benefits as their straight counterparts regardless of the state they live in.
Only 13 states, plus the District of Colombia legally recognize same-sex marriage. If same-sex couples marry in a state that recognizes their marriage and move to another that doesn’t, it will have no impact on their tax status.
Married gay couples will enjoy the many tax benefits, including benefits of filing tax returns jointly. The Health and Human Services Department has also declared that it will put forth some key benefits under Medicare to benefit same-sex spouses. The Social Security Administration is currently using a system based on place of residence to give benefits, but may change that.
“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,” said Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign. “These families finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”
To conform to the Supreme Court’s decision, the Treasury and other administrations are altering their regulations.