Federal Government Extends Tax Benefits to Same-sex Pairs

By:  Dave Bohon
Federal Government Extends Tax Benefits to Same-sex Pairs

The federal government has announced that homosexual “married” pairs will now be extended the same tax benefits as traditional married couples.

On August 29 the U.S. Treasury issued a statement confirming an Internal Revenue Service ruling that “same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.” The IRS emphasized that its ruling would apply “regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.”

The announcement comes two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal business.

“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide,” said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. “It provides access to benefits, responsibilities, and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve. 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.”

Any homosexual couple who has been legally “married” in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory, or a foreign country will be covered by the ruling, which applies to all income tax policy where marriage is a factor, including filing status, personal and dependency exemptions, employee benefits, contributions to retirement accounts, and child tax credits.

“However,” declared the Treasury announcement, “the ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services issued its own edict on benefits for homosexual couples, declaring that, relative to the Supreme Court's ruling against DOMA, legally “married” homosexual partners enrolled in a private Medicare plan will have equal access to placement in nursing homes.

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