Thursday, August 29, 2013

All legal same-sex marriages to be recognized by US Treasury regardless of state of residency

Big news for same-sex married couples as the Federal government has now issued a ruling by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that says, in terms of tax policy, the state of celebration is what counts - NOT the state of residence.

Yep, the ruling applies even to gay couples that live in states where their union is not recognized -- so long as they were married in a state that allows same-sex marriage.

From the Huffington Post:

Thursday’s ruling by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew provides a uniform policy for the IRS; the state of celebration -- where the wedding took place -- now trumps the state of residency when it comes to federal tax status for same-sex married couples.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” 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.”

Under the new Treasury policy, all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, employee benefits, IRA contributions, earned income, child tax credits, and income, gift and estate taxes, will apply to same sex couples regardless of where they live.

The Human Rights Campaign responds:

“With today’s ruling, committed and loving gay and lesbian married couples will now be treated equally under our nation’s federal tax laws, regardless of what state they call home,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “These families finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”

The ruling does not apply to those in registered domestic partnerships or civil unions. So, for states like New Jersey, where the governor is trying to argue that civil unions are equal to full marriage - this underlines how civil unions and domestic partnerships fall short of full equality.

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