New proposed rules provide that a marriage of two individuals–whether of the same sex or the opposite sex–will be recognized for federal tax purposes if that marriage is recognized by any state, possession, or territory of the United States. The proposed rules implement the U.S. Supreme Court decision issued in June to reflect that same-sex couples can now marry in all states and that all states will recognize these marriages.
The proposed rules will apply to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an IRA, and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit. However, registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar relationships not denominated as marriage under state law would not be treated as marriage for federal tax purposes.
Employers with questions on how to proceed regarding the administration of employee benefits for same-sex couples (or other applicable employment laws) are advised to review the proposed rules in their entirety and contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney.
For more information on same-sex marriage laws specific to your state, go to our State Laws section, click on your state, and select “Same-Sex Relationships” from the left-hand navigation menu.