Journalist Kimberly Lankford wrote a valuable article concerning same-sex couples recently in Kiplinger Online. If you are in, or know someone in, a same-sex marriage, this is required reading! Kiplinger Article Hat tip to that NAEA E@lert and fellow enrolled agent Jean Nelson.
Prior to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage act, many large employers elected to extend benefits traditionally reserved for married employees to employees in same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships and civil unions. Unfortunately for those couples, under the Defense of Marriage Act, the Federal Government did not extend the tax-free treatment of benefits to those couples. Benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, and other benefits provided and exempted from tax under §125 Cafeteria Plans were considered taxable to the employee, and therefore subject to social security, medicare, and unemployment taxes. With the repeal of DOMA, these forward thinking companies [...]
From the Arizona Department of Revenue: Earlier this year, the IRS issued a ruling allowing all married same-sex couples to file a joint federal income tax return, regardless of the laws of the state in which the couple resides. The Arizona Constitution defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A same sex couple who was married in another state or country but who resides in Arizona is therefore required to file separate Arizona income tax returns as single or, if qualified, head of household. This creates a complication because the income reported on the federal return [...]
The AICPA's October 11 e-Alert reminds same-sex couples who are legally married to use the filing status married-filing-jointly on their extended income tax returns, due October 15. Same-sex couples are considered legally married if regardless of where they life as long as their marriage took place in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes the marriage. This treatment applies to any return filed on or after September 16, 2013. Additional details may be found on the IRS.gov website or the AICPA Domestic Partners and Same-Sex Couples web page.
In their recent decision, the Supreme Court found that a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution as applied to same sex couples legally wedded under state law. The decision means that same-sex married couples will now enjoy many federal tax-related benefits, including income tax, estate & gift, tax-free fringe benefits, and more. Employers may need to prepare for major changes in the treatment of employees in same-sex marriages. […]