The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that legally married same-sex couples will receive the same tax treatment and benefits as heterosexual couples, a decision that follows the Supreme Court ruling this summer that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.
This tax treatment will apply even if a gay couple lives in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage so long as they were married in a state or country that does.
“Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement. “It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve.”
The administration said that same-sex couples can begin filing tax returns as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately” for the 2013 tax year.