On August 29, the IRS issued Rev Ruling 2013-17 and FAQs on same-sex marriage. Under the ruling, legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, including income and gift and estate taxes, the IRS explained. The IRS has posted a helpful ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section on their website which you can visit at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Answers-to-Frequently-Asked-Questions-for-Same-Sex-Married-Couples.
For tax year 2013 and going forward, same-sex spouses generally must file using a married filing separately or jointly filing status. For tax year 2012 and all prior years, same-sex spouses who file an original tax return on or after September 16, 2013 (the effective date of Rev. Rul. 2013-17), generally must file using a married filing separately or jointly filing status. Same-sex spouses who filed their 2012 tax-year return before September 16, 2013, may choose (but are not required) to amend their federal tax returns to file using married filing separately or jointly filing status.
For tax years 2011 and earlier, same-sex spouses who filed their tax returns timely may choose (but are not required) to amend their federal tax returns to file using married filing separately or jointly filing status provided the period of limitations for amending the return has not expired.
Employers can expect streamlined procedures to file refund claims for payroll taxes paid on previously-taxed health insurance and fringe benefits provided to same-sex spouses, the IRS explained. The agency also plans to issue guidance on cafeteria plans and on how retirement plans and other tax-favor arrangements should treat same-sex spouses for periods before the effective date of Rev. Rul 2013-17.
As of September 5, 2013, 13 states; California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage. Additionally, several counties in New Mexico are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as is one county in Pennsylvania.