IRS Finalizes Regulations on Same-Sex Marriages

The IRS has issued final regulations to define terms and include same-sex marriage as a marital status for federal tax purposes. The IRS previously issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 following the Supreme Court case, Windsor v. U.S., in which the Court addressed the terms "spouse," "husband and wife," "husband," and "wife" and ruled that marriages of same-sex couples in states recognizing same-sex marriages were also recognized for federal tax purposes. The subsequent Supreme Court case, Obergefell v. Hodges, made same-sex marriage legal in every state. As a result, the Treasury Department and the IRS amended the regulations under Internal Revenue Code section 7701, and provided that for federal tax purposes, the terms ''spouse,'' ''husband,'' and ''wife'' mean an individual lawfully married to another individual, and the term ''husband and wife'' means two individuals lawfully married to each other. Marriage does not include couples recognized as registered domestic partners, or joined by civil union.

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