The U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was a major milestone for same-sex couples seeking marriage equality. That decision has led to additional developments favoring gay and lesbian couples, all of which are good news for financial advisors.
The latest salvo comes from the Internal Revenue Service, which on August 29 adopted Revenue Rule 2013–17. Under the ruling, same-sex couples will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, including income, gift and estate taxes; filing status; claiming personal and dependency exemptions; taking the standard deduction; employee benefits; contributing to an IRA and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit. Particularly noteworthy is a provision of the rule extending federal marriage rights to same-sex couples who tied the knot in a state that recognizes gay and lesbian marriages but are now domiciled in a state that offers no such recognition. From a planner’s perspective, that’s hugely beneficial.