August 29, 2013

"All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized for Federal Tax Purposes."

The U.S. Department of the Treasury adopts its position in response to the Supreme Court's DOMA case. This in my view is unquestionably the correct response. It means that if a couple marries in a place that permits same-sex marriage, they'll be considered legally married regardless of where they currently reside and whether that place recognizes same-sex marriage.
“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,” said Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “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.”
As for past tax years that are still open under the statute of limitations, you're given an option to file an amended return and be accepted as married, but you don't have to. So, if your tax bill would be less being considered unmarried, even when you were, you get to keep that advantage you had for those years. If you'll pay less by filing as married, you should file the amended return. Going forward, if you're married, you're married for federal tax purposes. You can't move to a state that doesn't recognize your marriage as a way to reduce your tax bill.

14 comments:

n.n said...

So, they intend to discriminate against other forms, kinds, and combinations of loving, sexual relations. They will continue to artificially distinguish between sexual and platonic relationships.

Why the hypocrisy? Is it mitigated by an adherence to selective principles? A selective rule of law based on ambiguous principles will only serve to sponsor corruption.

The Godfather said...

This makes sense to me. DOMA (like "don't ask, don't tell") never made sense except as a Clintonian device to defuse an issue that he didn't want to deal with.

It also means that the battle for gay marriage is, as a practical matter, over. A gay couple living in a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage can get married someplace that does, and will be considered married for federal tax purposes. Their home state won't consider them married, but most of the disadvantages that result from that can be dealt with through careful planning. The main thing is that they can call themselves "married", and no one can honestly deny that they have that status. This is likely to mean that even states, like my present home state of NC, that ban gay marriage, will change their position before long.

jimbino said...

It's time that the Feds eliminated all reference to marital status from the tax regulations. Just like sex, age, race, and national origin, marital status has no proper place in a Bill of Rights or the Tax Code.

EDH said...

There's something ironic in gay couples now getting fucked up the ass like straight couples.

Jason said...

What's this going to cost?

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

1. If they live in a state that does not recognize SSM, they file joint federal returns and single state returns. Confusing.
2. If they are married and do not file a joint return, are they required to file as married, filing separately, or do they also have the option of filing single returns (MF married people do not have this option)? This can make a large difference in the total tax due in some cases.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

1. If they live in a state that does not recognize SSM, they file joint federal returns and single state returns. Confusing.
2. If they are married and do not file a joint return, are they required to file as married, filing separately, or do they also have the option of filing single returns (MF married people do not have this option)? This can make a large difference in the total tax due in some cases.

Titus said...

Move on...gay marriage is here.

Yes, the south will hate it, but focus on some other stuff.

cubanbob said...

How is the IRS going to handle estate tax issues and dependants among other issues where SSM couples are permanent residents of a state that doesn't allow SSM?

Trashhauler said...

So, what's the rationale for giving married people any kind of tax break if being a stable place to raise children is no longer the primary government interest?

For that matter, what's love got to do with marriage, strictly speaking? We are rewarding two people for being partnered, but why should the government care if they love one another?

MayBee said...

Good.

Renee said...

Can we have separation of marriage and taxes?

It's the marriage penalty that hurts the double income working class family the most.In fact in economic terms cohabitation or even acknowledging the father is a penalty, due to the free government assistance that is lost if married or living as a domestic unit.

Government creates laws using our tax system to promote or penalize behavior. Why exactly are we promoting/penalizing. We promote upper middle class couple from marrying, but lower working from not. Considering the outcomes of children, why are we ignoring the fact we are not intentionally harming these families.

Why can't we have a tax system simply to pay for the needs of the community, and function of the government. Initially our tax system stabilize the family, now I'm not sure what it does for the family.

Jim said...

I agree with jimbino. I have been getting screwed by the marriage penalty ever since I said, "I do." Get rid of joint filing. While we are at it, because of the Government Pension Offset, my wife can never receive a SS survivors benefit from me. I should receive a higher retirement benefit. Let's make SS, if not a private system, a cafeteria system.

John Ritchie said...

Two men or two women will never be able to get married. Why? Because reality is not up for discussion. Laws cannot change nature, no matter what the Supreme Court thinks. Here are 10 more good REASONS why same-sex "marriage" is harmful.
http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/politically-incorrect/homosexuality/10-reasons-why-homosexual-marriage-is-harmful-and-must-be-opposed.html