FEDERAL Government WILL Recognize Same Sex Marriages

 The U.S. Department of Treasury has just made it official: legally
married same-sex couples will receive the same tax benefits as
opposite-sex married couples, regardless of where they reside.

In
a call earlier today, U.S. Treasury Department Secretary Jacob Lew told
leadership of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
(NGLCC) and other LGBT interest groups that effective immediately the
U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that
recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.
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.

“Today’s 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,” said Secretary Lew. “This ruling also assures
legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout
the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

This
is a major victory for the entire equality movement, but especially for
married same-sex couples who own and operate businesses. LGBT people
who are legally married in one of the 13 states that grant same-sex
marriage, can now ensure their business is a “family” business and are
legally entitled to determine the legacy of their wealth.

The
NGLCC will continue to work with LGBT small business owners to ensure
they are equipped with all the pertinent knowledge and resources
throughout this transition. The organization will also advise dozens of
our more than 140 corporate partners who will be augmenting grossing-up
best practices as a result of this announcement.

Other key takeaways:

  • Joint filing beginning 2014 for couples married in 2013.
  • Retro-active filing for those married in the past three years.
  • Same tax treatment for items like income, gifts, and estate.

Secretary
Lew acknowledged there would be further refinements needed and that
both his department and the IRS are looking to the public to help
identify these needed refinements; for instance, child tax credit issues
surrounding same-sex parents where it is not legal at the state level
for a same-sex second parent to adopt.