In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, the Internal Revenue Service has issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17, stating married same-sex couples will receive the same tax benefits as other married couples.
To be applicable, the same-sex couple must have been legally married in a jurisdiction permitting such marriages, but they can reside in any of the 50 states, U.S. territories, or any foreign country, regardless of that jurisdiction’s recognition of such marriages. The ruling does not apply to domestic partnerships, civil unions or other similar formal relationships, regardless whether the individuals are of the opposite sex or the same sex.
For individuals affected by this recent tax change, it is important to contact your income tax advisor and financial advisor to discuss planning. Couples should be aware that the 2013 filing status should now be either married filing jointly or married filing separately and amended income tax returns may be filed for any tax years still open under the statute of limitations, which for many will be three years (2010, 2011, and 2012).
Beyond income tax issues, Windsor and Revenue Ruling 2013-17, allow same-sex couples to be eligible for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax benefits such as the election to split gifts for federal gift tax returns, the unlimited marital deduction for gifts and bequests, and the portability election on any unused portion of a deceased spouse’s applicable exclusion amount.
The Internal Revenue Service has stated it will continue providing further guidance in areas such as retroactive application of employee benefits and employee benefit plans and arrangements.
To File a Claim for a Refund
Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return should be used by taxpayers wishing to file a refund for income taxes.
Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement is used for taxpayers wishing to file a refund for gift or estate taxes.
More information on filing an amended return can be found at Tax Topic 308, Amended Returns at http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc308.html