Internal Revenue Service Recognizes Federal Tax Benefits for Same-Sex Married Couples

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On August 29, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service issued a Revenue Ruling clarifying the federal tax treatment of the approximately 130,000 same-sex married couples throughout the United States, generally recognizing their married status for tax purposes. The Ruling paves the way for same-sex couples to reap many tax benefits long enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples, including reduced taxes on employee benefits and reduced estate and gift taxes. Employers will need to take action to bring retirement plans and health and welfare benefit plans into compliance.

Revenue Ruling 2013-17 implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, which invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of “marriage” as a union between a man and a woman.

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