The US Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Couples in same-sex marriages are now treated as married for all federal purposes, including taxes. Here’s a roundup of stories relating to taxes and the DOMA ruling:
On My Blog
This was my initial blog post after the ruling, in which I give a basic overview of what changes.
DOMA Done, But Complications Live On:
A blog post in which I wonder what happens in the following scenario: Spouse A and Spouse B are in a same-sex marriage. Spouse A has a simple tax return and filed their 2012 federal return before the April 15th deadline, using a filing status of single. Spouse B has a complicated tax situation. Their 2012 return is on extension and hasn’t been filed yet. Now that DOMA no longer exists, what does Spouse B do?
I have a few clients in this exact situation. I’m guessing that Spouse A and Spouse B would need to file an amended 2012 return as a married couple. I mean, Spouse B can’t really argue that he or she is single, or was single in 2012, if in fact he or she was married in 2012 and DOMA has been declared an unconstitutional law. Because Spouse B hasn’t filed a return yet, there seems to be no option other than to file 2012 as married.
Perhaps the IRS will say that filing as married is optional for 2012. Though that’s probably not likely.
Many of the same-sex couples who have been issued marriage certificates in Iowa are actually not from Iowa but are instead from “non-recognition” states. For example, there have been people from places like Missouri or Nebraska — neither of which recognizes same-sex marriage — coming to Iowa to get a marriage certificate. These people still live in a non-recognition state, but they have a marriage certificate from Iowa that says they’re married.
What is the tax treatment of people in that situation? I explore that question in this blog post and come to the conclusion that we don’t really know.
Coverage from other blogs:
- Kay Bell at the Don’t Mess with Taxes Blog and Bankrate
- Kelly Phillips Erb (TaxGirl)
- Russ Fox at the Taxable Talk Blog makes a good point about e-filing 2012 tax returns for couples in same-sex marriages: DOMA Done, But Don’t File that Joint Return Just Yet
- Professor Pat Cain at the Same-Sex Tax Law Blog Her blog is required reading for anyone interested in the tax issues of same-sex marriage.
- William Perez at taxes.about.com
- Peter Reilly at Forbes
Apologies to any bloggers out there that I may have missed. I’ll be adding to this section as I come across more stories and analysis.
“This blog post, along with comments that may follow, should not be considered tax advice. Before you make final tax or financial decisions, please secure a professional tax advisor to give you advice about your unique situation. To secure Jason as your accountant, please click on the ‘Services’ link at the top of the page.”