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The IRS has been accepting returns from married people of the same sex since 2013, but only from those married in states that permitted such marriages.
But on Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that all same-sex marriages would be recognized — regardless of whether your state had outlawed them.
This news wasn’t exactly a surprise to anyone — in June the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage — but it is an important step in implementing the court’s ruling.
According to Treasury Department’s statement: “The proposed regulations 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.”
This means that if you have a same-sex marriage, you must file your federal income tax return as either married filing jointly, or married filing separately. Same goes for state income tax returns. However, if you have a domestic partnership or civil union, you are to still file as “single.”
One major way this affects same-sex couples is on health care. Until Wednesday’s ruling, if you were a Texan who married a same-sex spouse in Vermont, you couldn’t get tax-free health care on your spouse’s health insurance plan, as enjoyed by heterosexual married couples and their children enjoyed.