IRS to recognize all gay marriages for federal tax purposes

The IRS will recognize a gay couple's marriage whether or not gay marriage is legal in the state where they live

By Katie McDonough
Published August 29, 2013 7:46PM (EDT)
                                                                                                  (AP Photo/Mathew Sumner)
(AP Photo/Mathew Sumner)

The Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that it will recognize all married same-sex couples for federal tax purposes, including income, gift and estate taxes, whether or not the state where they live recognizes their marriage.

The change stems from the Supreme Court ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act, entitling married gay couples to the same federal benefits as married straight couples.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax-filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

Same-sex spouses will be able to file as married couples for the 2013 tax year, according to the Treasury Department. They will also be able to file amended returns from previous years, and may be eligible and entitled to refunds.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, applauded the decision, saying that same-sex couples and their families"finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act."


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

MORE FROM Katie McDonoughFOLLOW kmcdonovgh

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Gay Marriage Internal Revenue Service Irs Lgbt Rights Taxes Treasury Department