COPPERAS COVE, Texas, August 29, 2013 — As expected, after the landmark defeat of a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, the Obama administration announced on Thursday that all legal same-sex marriages will be recognized for U.S. federal tax purposes.
This will allow all same-sex married couples to claim the same tax benefits as traditionally-married couples.
According to the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service, the ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.
“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement. “It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve.”
“This 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.” He said.
According to US Census Bureau estimates, there are about 130,000 same-sex married couples in the United States. However, only thirteen states and the District of Columbia recognize their marriages as legal.
Although public opinion seems to have gradually shifted in favor of same-sex marriage, and many national polls now show that more than 50 percent of Americans say same-sex couples should be legally allowed to marry, the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA only ensures that legal same-sex marriages will be treated the same as other marriages by the federal government.
The decision as to whether same-sex couples will be allowed to marry in a particular state remains with the states.
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