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The United States Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2013 in United States v. Windsor that the provision of federal law that confined marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman invalid. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service has ruled that same sex couples that are legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages shall be treated as married for all federal tax purposes i.e., filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, providing employee benefits, contributing to an IRA and taking tax credits. 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.

Effective September 16, 2013 employers must recognize same–sex spouses for payroll purposes, including group health coverage and other fringe benefits, COBRA continuation coverage, beneficiary status on retirement plans and other qualified plans.

 

The IRS will be issuing further guidelines on plan amendment requirements and for individuals filing for tax refunds.

 

 

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