The Department of the Treasury and the IRS has ruled that same sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes (Revenue Ruling 2012-17.) The ruling specifically states that it applies to “legally married” same-sex couples, and NOT TO REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.
However, it does apply regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not.
Under the ruling, same sex couples will be treated as married for all federal purposes. It applies to all federal provisions including filing status, exemptions, standard deduction, benefits, IRA’s and earned income credit.
These taxpayers MUST file their 2013 return using either married joint or married separate status. For those years prior to 2013, these taxpayers MAY, but are not required to, file original or amended returns choosing to be treated as married for federal tax purposes for one or more tax years still open under the statue of limitations.
Refund claims may be filed for gift or estate taxes paid using Forms 843, Claim for refund.