Treasury and IRS issue rules governing tax filing for legally married gay couples

  • Article by: MARTIN CRUTSINGER , Associated Press
  • Updated: August 29, 2013 - 3:50 PM

WASHINGTON — The government on Thursday said that all legally married gay couples will be able to file joint federal tax returns even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

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circleoflifeAug. 29, 13 1:56 PM

Questions: Why new rules? Are they married or not? There are already rules on taxes for married couples. Why the separation?

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bannedmuggsAug. 29, 13 2:31 PM

I thought there wouldn't be any special this and special that. Does the IRS have special rules for heterosexual married couples?

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cmacmillanAug. 29, 13 2:42 PM

One wonders if commenters actually know what they're commenting on. If there weren't special rules for same-sex marriages the IRS wouldn't need to call out their special rules. Why the separation? Because the federal gov't says people are married even if the state says they aren't.

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otvallsAug. 29, 13 2:45 PM

If this is true, if the regulations would merely 'allow' gay couples to file as married, but not _require- them to do so, thereby letting them choose which is more convenient, then the regulations are discriminatory. Every one else who is married is obliged to file as married, which in typical cases where both work means a higher tax.

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liora51Aug. 29, 13 2:46 PM

There are no new rules. There is the affirmation that the rules apply equally throughout the land with regard to the federal government. Get a grip.

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SammyBoyAug. 29, 13 2:55 PM

Apparently clarification is needed: The IRS used the phrase "Legally Married". This means that in the states that recognize same-sex marriage and issue marriage licenses, those couples will be able to file as married as it pertains to the IRS and tax code. This would not apply to couples not recognized as legally married, so no change there. Prior to the nullification of the pertinent section of DOMA, IRS rules had to be specifically written to exclude legally married couples who were of the same sex. So, if a state had decided to allow same-sex marriage and issued legal marriage licenses to a same-sex couple, the federal government ignored that. To ignore that, they had to pass an (unconstitutional) law and require agencies to rewrite rules to explicitly exclude legally married same-sex couples. So, rather than "new rules", its more reverting to pre-DOMA rules that said legally married was legally married.

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biltamAug. 29, 13 3:03 PM

Yikes, you'd think readers have never paid taxes before. Married taxpayers are more than welcome to file jointly or separately. Don't worry. Same-sex married folks are not getting a better deal or special treatment. They're just finally getting treated equally by the law, which you wouldn't understand. Jeesh.

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smit1414Aug. 29, 13 3:22 PM

I think it is ridiculous that there are separate tax rules for married people vs. single people in general. But if those tax rules must exist it's good that they are applying those rules to all married folks.

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SammyBoyAug. 29, 13 3:49 PM

smit1414 - The marriage separation has a long history, mostly rooted in the notion that in a family unit, the man works and the woman rears. That's changed over time, but the working definitions have lagged behind. Current tax tables double many of the income limits when you are married, meaning that two single adults who are in a civil union (not a legal marriage) pay the same as a the same legally married couple who file jointly, as long as they have roughly the same income. If one person makes 30K and the other makes 65K, the couple ends up paying $539 more in taxed than the same couple who can filed married. And that's not even getting into benefits and tax deductions and credits.

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crystalbayAug. 29, 13 4:17 PM

"I thought there wouldn't be any special this and special that. Does the IRS have special rules for heterosexual married couples?"..............Your overreaction is moot because this ruling has nothing at all to do with gay couples getting "special" anything. This ruling simply affords gay married couples the SAME tax status that hetero couples have always had. That's all - nothing "special" for them at all. When it comes to tax status in states which have not yet legalized gay marriage, they'll still have to bite the bullet on state income taxes, but the federal returns will be consistent with the same status as hetero couples.

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