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Federal Tax Laws Now Recognize Same-Sex Marriages in All States

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When it comes to matters of federal taxes for same-sex couples, U.S. law now trumps all. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have ruled that same-sex spouses who have been legally married will be treated as married in all states, for federal tax purposes. And the ruling applies regardless of whether or not couples now live in a local jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages.

"Today's ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide," said Treasury Secretary Jacob J. 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."

Same sex spouses will now have a married filing status for personal and dependency exemptions, the standard deduction, employee benefits, IRA contributions, income, gift, and estate taxes and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit – any element in the matter of taxes where marriage is a factor.

The impact is far-reaching: any same-sex marriage legally entered into in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory, or a foreign country will be covered by the ruling. However, federal tax laws do not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships recognized under state laws.

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