Potential Tax Consequences of the Supreme Court Ruling on DOMA

On June 26th the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, was unconstitutional. The decision will influence the way that legally married same-sex couples are taxed, with many of the consequences yet to be determined. One of the biggest questions outstanding is the federal marital status of couples who are legally married in one jurisdiction but reside in a state which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. The IRS may recognize the marriage and allow the couple to file as Married Filing Jointly for federal purposes even if they are required to file as Single for their state return, or the couple may be required to file in accordance with the laws of their state of residence. Whatever the final determination of that issue is, the ramifications of many other changes to the federal taxation of legally married same-sex couples are already known. The change requiring the most immediate action is the amendment of prior year tax returns for couples who have been forced to file as Single on their federal return even though their state of residence has been allowing them to file as Married Filing Jointly. In general, the time limit for filing an amended return to claim an additional refund is three years from the due date of the originally filed return, so time is of the essence if it is determined an amended return would be beneficial.

If you have any questions about the ruling’s effects on your taxation, please contact us. The link below will take you to a brief discussion regarding the tax consequences of the ruling.