Estate Planning Opportunities Arising from Recent Revenue Ruling Concerning Marriages of Same-Sex Couples

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Revenue Ruling 2013-17 -

On August 29, 2013, the US Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (the “Ruling”) holding that, for purposes of administering all federal tax laws including those pertaining to income, gift and estate taxes, married same-sex couples that were lawfully married in any jurisdiction (domestic or international) will be treated as married regardless of whether the jurisdictions in which such couples are resident and/or domiciled recognize the marriage. However, neither the Treasury nor the IRS will recognize as married those unmarried same-sex couples that are in so-called “marriage equivalent” legal relationships, e.g., civil unions, registered domestic partnerships and domestic partnerships.

As Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew stated in a press release, the 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.” The 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.” The Ruling “applies 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.”

Please see full advisory below for more information.

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