Marriage, Taxes and Same Sex Couples - IRS Ruling Announced

posted on August 30, 2013 by Willingham & Cote

by Lee B. Reimann, Estate & Gifts, Divorce & Family Law

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today that if a same sex couple was legally married in any jurisdiction, they will be able to (and must starting in 2013) file tax returns as married individuals.  The couple will have the opportunity to file their taxes using either “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately”.  As a married person, the taxpayer can typically no longer file as “head of household”. 

The IRS also announced that married same sex couples who have not been able to file their tax returns using their appropriate marital status may amend their returns for all open years being 2010, 2011 and 2012.

This is good news for residents of the state of Michigan as the IRS will now not look to the definition of marriage in the state where the taxpayer lives, but will look to the definition of marriage in the state in which the marriage took place.  Please note that this only applies to couples who are legally married and not to those individuals in a civil union or those who are registered domestic partners.

If you need further information or advice on this or any other issues raised by the United States v. Windsor case, please feel free to contact our office.  There is also a helpful page of FAQs on the IRS website at

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