IRS: Same-sex married couples can have same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples
All same-sex married couples, no matter where they live, will be granted the same federal tax benefits as heterosexual married couples, the Obama administration said Thursday.
The U.S. Treasury ruling, following the landmark Supreme Court decision in June, means that whether a married gay couple lives in New York, which recognizes gay marriage, or Oklahoma, which does not, federal tax benefits and responsibilities apply.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said 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," Lew said.
Under the ruling, effective Sept. 16, same-sex married couples may file amended tax returns to change their filing status going back to tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012 to seek possible tax refunds, the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauded the announcement.
"Today, through something as seemingly banal as a tax code change, the Obama Administration made marriage equality a national right and further advanced America's march of freedom, which was celebrated on the National Mall yesterday," Bloomberg said in a statement. "No longer will the validity of one's marriage be, in the eyes of the federal government, dependent upon the gender of a partner."