Currently 17 states throughout the nation recognize same-sex marriage. Many same-sex couples who reside in those states were probably ecstatic with the United State’s Supreme Court decision this past summer regarding the Defense of Marriage Act. In finding that the act violated the U.S. Constitution, certain rights available to heterosexual married couples were extended to same-sex married couples as well. 

These benefits extend to the income taxes couples pay. Following the ruling, the Internal Revenue Service issued rules that indicate same-sex married couples must now file under the married designation. Like heterosexual couples, they have a choice between married-filling-separate or married-filing-joint. Under the rules, couples must be married for the new rules to apply. Those who are a part of a civil union or domestic partnership cannot select either of these options.

While same-sex marriage is not currently recognized in the state of Georgia, some same-sex couples may still be able to take advantage of the IRS’s new rules while filing their taxes this year. This is because the agency’s changes pertain to all same-sex couples who have been married in a state that recognizes the unions, even couples who travel from states that do not recognize the union to those that do, for the ceremony to be performed. Some residents of the state of Georgia may have done this.

Because the IRS’s rules are a big change for same-sex married couples, it is very possible that questions could arise in connection with the proper steps to take. If not handled correctly, mistakes could lead to mistakes and possibly even an audit. Individuals facing an audit may benefit from working with a tax lawyer.

Source: The New York Times, “Victory, and Tax Changes, for Same-Sex Couples,” Charles Delafuente, Feb. 7, 2014