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Can same-sex spouses file joint federal income tax returns in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)?

Maybe. Typically, the IRS determines marital status by looking at state law in the person’s place of domicile – generally where their permanent residence or primary home is located. Therefore, same-sex spouses who reside in and were married in Maryland will likely be considered married for federal tax purposes.

However, complications and uncertainty with filing status arises for those same-sex spouses domiciled in states with a civil union or registered domestic partnership system, those who lived and married in a state with same-sex marriage that later moved to a state that does not, or those domiciled in a state that does not have same-sex marriage that travelled elsewhere to marry. In these later situations, it is unclear whether same-sex couples may treat each other as spouses for federal tax purposes. The IRS is working on guidance to resolve these issues. In light of the above, same-sex spouses should consult with a tax professional before filing their 2013 tax returns or amending prior tax returns.

Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

25 South Charles Street, 21st Floor MD 21201
Phone: 410-727-6600
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Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

705 Melvin Avenue Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-727-6600
Map & Directions