A major announcement today was made today for couples that are in a same-sex marriage. The Obama administration announced today that all married, same-sex couples in the U.S. will receive federal tax benefits that in the past were only given to just heterosexual couples.
These benefits will apply to any same-sex couple even if their marriage isn’t recognized in the state they live in. For example, if they got married in New York but live in Ohio then the couple will still get the benefits despite not being in a state that honors same-sex marriages.
"No family should have to worry about losing important federal rights and benefits, simply because they live in a state that doesn’t recognize them as equal under the law," Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.
"Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide." said Secretary Jacob J. Lew 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."
This isn’t the first ruling that’s been made this year for same-sex marriages at a federal level. Back in June of this year the Supreme Court ruled saying that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits.
Today’s ruling will go into effect on September 16th of this year and will allow same-sex married couples to file amended tax returns to change their filing status going back to tax years 2010, 2011, and 2012 to seek possible tax refunds, according to the Treasury Department.
According to an article on June 26, 2013 from a research website, there are at least 71,165+ same-sex marriages in the U.S. Based on that number alone that means that thousands of people will benefit from this ruling.
As of August there are 13 states in the U.S. plus Washington D.C. that have legalized same-sex marriages. These states include California, Delaware, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
While there are the 13 that have legalized same-sex marriages, there are still 24 states that haven’t legalized same-sex marriage. So this ruling may cause some conflicts.
”Today’s ruling will likely create administrative headaches for state taxing authorities in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, because most state income tax regimes begin with federal taxable income as the starting point,” Marvin Kirsner, a tax attorney at Greenberg Traurig, wrote in an email.
Today’s ruling from the U.S. Treasury is one of many that are coming out as the federal government works to coordinate with the Supreme Court ruling from earlier this summer.