ARE SAME-SEX MARRIAGES TREATED EQUALLY FOR FEDERAL TAX PURPOSES?
IRS Ruling Affecting Employers
The IRS has issued a ruling (IRS Revenue Ruling 2013-17) that employees who were legally married in places that recognize same-sex marriage are entitled to the same federal tax treatment as traditional married employees, regardless of whether the state in which they live or are employed recognizes the marriage as legal. This means any tax issue that is related to marital status, such as exemptions claimed (personal and dependents), filing status, claiming standard deduction, treatment and provision of employee benefits, and IRA contributions.
What Employers Must Do Right Away
The IRS ruling requires that employers take action by September 16, 2013 to:
Only Legally Recognized Same-Sex Marriages Are Covered
The IRS ruling does not apply to civil unions, registered domestic partnerships, or other such same-sex relationships under state laws.
IRS Unanswered Questions About Same-Sex Marriages.
The IRS did not yet answer whether it will require retroactive application of this ruling to benefit and retirement plans, or whether employers must retroactively alter tax and benefit treatment of same-sex marriages, but said it will issue guidance on this later.
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