Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013) that same sex married couples would be recognized for federal purposes, a question has existed as to what happens if a same sex couple married in a state that allows such marriages, but moves to or lives in a state that does not. The IRS has now issued a Revenue Ruling that provides that the key fact for federal tax purposes is where the couple married. If they marry in a state that recognizes same sex marriages, the IRS will treat them as married for federal tax purposes – even if they move to or reside in a state that does not.
This rule will greatly simplify tax administration, as well as simplify the lives of same sex married couples. There is now only one question to determine marital status – was the marriage in a state that recognizes same sex marriage.
The ruling also clarifies that for federal tax purposes the term “marriage” does not include registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar formal relationships recognized under state law that are not denominated as a marriage under that state’s law.