On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor declared that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, thereby recognizing marriage for same-sex couples at the federal level.
One year after Windsor, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a report to the President summarizing the tremendous developments that have taken place for same-sex couples the past year. Prior to Windsor, DOMA impacted nearly 1,000 federal regulations and laws. Now, after working collaboratively with federal agencies in the year since Windsor, the federal government reports that is has implemented the Windsor decision as broadly as legally possible.
- Attorney General’s Memorandum
- Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Background After United States v. Windsor (Congressional Research Service)
Filing Federal Taxes After Windsor
Same-sex married couples are now eligible for certain tax benefits and are subject to changes in their tax filing status after Windsor. For more comprehensive information, check out the resources below.
- Answers to Frequently Answered Questions for Individuals of the Same Sex who are Married Under State Law (IRS)
- IRS Guidance Answers Same-Sex Marriage Tax Questions in Wake of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling (Thomson Reuters)
- Tax Implications of the Supreme Court’s Decision Holding DOMA Unconstitutional (Thomson Reuters) (Note: Ignore the “Unanswered Questions” page).
- Marriage Penalty Calculator (Tax Policy Center) (Note: Same-sex couples interested in marriage’s tax consequences can use this resource to determine whether marriage would increase or decrease their tax liability for federal tax purposes).
Filing State Income Taxes After Windsor
The landscape of marriage for same-sex couples has become increasingly complex to follow. In fact, for every color in the rainbow exists a state with its unique and often discriminatory approach towards same-sex couples. This creates particular issues for same-sex couples during tax season if a state, for example, does not recognize lawfully performed marriages despite the federal government’s recognition for tax purposes. This is just a general example of the possible combination of circumstances that create varying outcomes for same-sex couples regarding their tax benefits and obligations. For more comprehensive information, review the resources below.
- State Income Tax Filing Post-Windsor (AICPA)
- Online LGBT Tax Resource (LGBT Bar)
- Windsor, DOMA and State Taxation of Fringe Benefits (Marc Purintin)
- Implications of State Conversion Laws for Same-Sex Couples (Duffey Law)
- Freedom to Marry (Note: Because each state’s position on marriage for same-sex couples is increasingly changing, visit this website for the most up to date list of states and territories undergoing marriage litigation).
- For Same-Sex Marrieds, a Tax Season to Look Back (New York Times)
Forms, Guidance, & Instructions
- Guidance for Examining Returns, Appeal Rights, and Refund Claims
- Procedure for Filing a Protective Claim
- Instructions and Form for Filing a U.S. Estate (and Generation Skipping Transfer) Tax Return
- Instructions and Form for Refund Claims and Abatement Request
- See Also: Resources for Tax Professionals for More Up to Date IRS Materials
According to Circular 230 any federal tax advice contained in this communication or anywhere on this website, is not intended or written to be used and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.