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.
GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz is quoted in this piece saying that the ruling helps “America moves one step closer to ‘liberty and justice for all.’”