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DOMA and Your Taxes


Posted on March 06, 2014

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The United States Supreme Court recently struck down this provision of DOMA for same sex couples that are lawfully married to each other as an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment.

This ruling required the IRS to address over 200 sections of the Internal Revenue Code that involved a definition of a spouse or related parties.

The IRS now recognizes all same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal, regardless of where the couple now resides. The IRS also stated that uniform nationwide rules are essential for efficient and fair tax administration. Now, the terms “spouse,” “husband” and “wife” apply to individuals who are lawfully married to a person of the same sex. However, this change does not extend to domestic partnerships, civil unions or other formal relationships recognized under state law that are not denominated as a marriage under that state’s law.

Same-sex spouses can now file amended tax returns seeking a refund for prior years provided that the statute of limitation for doing so is still open.

The typical refund statute of limitation is three years from the presumptive due date of the tax return or two years from the date the tax is paid, whichever is later. Failure to timely file a claim for refund will cause that refund to be barred by the refund statute of limitation. Are you legally married to a same-sex spouse?

You may be entitled to a refund. Call us, we can help.


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