Finally a Reason to Like the I.R.S.: All Gay Marriages Now Recognized
After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act this summer, it was unclear how gay-married couples living in states that prohibit same-sex marriages (ahem…) would be treated by the federal government. One point of uncertainty related to the sort of federal tax benefits that Philly native Edith Windsor said she was denied, prompting her landmark challenge to DOMA. Well, the I.R.S. and the Treasury have now decided that all same-sex couples that are married, regardless of their place of residence, will receive the tax benefits (and occasional tax ‘penalties’) straight married couples do.
This doesn’t mean things won’t get confusing for gay couples. If you live in PA but were married in New York, you’ll file a federal tax return as a married person and a state one as a single person. Also, different federal agencies will treat you differently. Medicare benefits will be disbursed based on “place of celebration,” so it doesn’t matter where gay-married couples live. Social Security benefits, meanwhile, will be handed out based on “place of residence.”