Tax Considerations for Same Sex Couples

The IRS has adjusted many of the regulations to reflect the condition of same-sex marriage and adjust the wording previously used to refer to spouses, wives, husband, and husband and wife. Still, people may have questions about how to proceed when tax time comes along. To help in this process, the IRS published Frequently Asked Questions pages dealing with the topic. Some of the questions addressed in those pages include:

  • When are individuals of the same sex lawfully married for federal tax purposes?
  • Can same-sex spouses file federal tax returns using a married filing jointly or married filing separately status?
  • Can a taxpayer and his or her same-sex spouse file a joint return if they were married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages but they live in a state that does not recognize their marriage?
  • Can a taxpayer’s same-sex spouse be a dependent of the taxpayer?
  • If same-sex spouses (who file using the married filing separately status) have a child, which parent may claim the child as a dependent?
  • If a taxpayer adopts the child of his or her same-sex spouse as a second parent or co-parent, may the taxpayer (“adopting parent”) claim the adoption credit for the qualifying adoption expenses he or she pays or incurs to adopt the child?

These and many more questions are addressed on the pages published by the IRS and can be accessed here.

The important message is that while special considerations may exist, a marriage is a marriage regardless of whether it is between same sex couples or opposite sex couples. Read more and be informed. It's the law.


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