The following questions and answers provide information to individuals of the same sex who are lawfully married same-sex spouses. For federal tax purposes, the IRS looks to state or foreign law to determine whether individuals are married. The IRS has a general rule recognizing a marriage of same-sex spouses that was validly entered into in a domestic or foreign jurisdiction whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex even if the married couple resides in a domestic or foreign jurisdiction that does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages. For tax year and going forward, same-sex spouses generally must file using a married filing separately or jointly filing status. For tax year and all prior years, same-sex spouses who file an original tax return on or after Sept.
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The U. Supreme Court ruled in June that all people have a right to marry regardless of the gender of either spouse. Technically, states can no longer deny marriage licenses to same sex couples. Gay and lesbian married couples no longer have to file separate returns at the federal level. Gay and lesbian couples who are lawfully married can file their tax returns just like any other married couple would. The same two basic options are available to them. A couple can combine all their income and their deductions on one jointly-filed tax return.
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Note: On Sept. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service IRS today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage. The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26 Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The Treasury Department, following up on the Supreme Court's ruling in June striking down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act, announced that gay and lesbian married couples can file joint federal tax returns. Importantly, the government said those couples can do so even if they have moved to states that do not permit same-sex marriages — although they may have to file their state tax returns as if they were not married, depending on state laws. The same is not true for Social Security, which will only recognize couples living in states that allow same-sex marriages.