Same-sex couples can now file joint tax returns
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 19:08
Same-sex couples can now file jointly on federal tax returns, according to an announcement today from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
The decision applies to all same-sex couples that were legally married in a state that permits gay marriage regardless of where they are now.
It comes after an LGBT victory in the Windsor v. United States case that said the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, the justices ruled in a 5-4 decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion was clear that the federal government cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation.
"Today's ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide," Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew said after the ruling. "It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve."
The decision and court case only impact the federal government and have no effect on state law. States, like Texas, that still ban same-sex marriage legally can and don't recognize them for any taxing or other purposes.