IRS says legally married same-sex couples can now file taxes jointly

by Bert Seither on October 14, 2013

By Bert Seither, Director of Operations at Corporate Tax Network

About the author: Bert Seither is the Director of Operations at Corporate Tax Network, a national accounting and business development firm. For nearly 10 years, Seither has assisted small business owners to help put their companies on a path to prosperity.

The Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury Department recently announced that a stipulation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) this past summer will now give same-sex married couples another option when it comes to filing their taxes with the IRS.

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated DOMA, which was originally passed in 1996. This landmark ruling opened the door to more recognition of same-sex marriages throughout the nation. One provision included in the ruling was to allow same-sex couples who are married to file their taxes jointly in every state. This new law is now official, according to the IRS.

The language in the new regulations states that same-sex married couples now have the ability to file their tax returns jointly rather than filing separate returns, which many couples had to do in the past. They can also move freely throughout the U.S. without the worry of having their tax situations impacted since this new federal law enables them to continue filing joint returns in all states. Specifically, this means that same-sex married couples can file joint federal tax returns in states that do not recognize gay marriage, as long as they were married in a state that does recognize it.

This new stipulation comes after much confusion about how the government classifies same-sex couples in terms of IRS tax laws. In a public statement, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that these newly enacted regulations should clear up any confusion that same-sex couples may have had as far as how to handle their IRS tax-filing requirements.

The current IRS tax-filing classifications available to American taxpayers are as follows: single, married filing separately, married filing jointly, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. There are several factors involved in determining a taxpayer’s filing status. If a couple is married on or before December 31st of a taxable year, that couple can file a joint tax return for that particular year. This federal IRS law will now apply to same-sex couples.

Bert Seither
Bert Seither is a small business consultant who helps small business owners find the proper entity structures, get on track with their IRS tax situations, and find a path to prosperity. He has assisted thousands of clients in his 10+ years of experience.
Bert Seither
Bert Seither

Latest posts by Bert Seither (see all)

Previous post:

Next post: