10 Same-sex Marriage Tax Filing Tips

Now that the U.S. federal government recognizes same-sex marriages as legal, tax time is changing for many couples. CREATISTA/iStockphoto/ThinkStock

For many people in the U.S., taxes have never been so exciting. Recent historic changes to federal regulations have opened up a whole new category of tax benefits to same-sex couples. In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a decision that led the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service to recognize same-sex couples who are legally married.

The move gives couples in same-sex marriages the same federal tax benefits as couples in heterosexual marriages, such as standard deductions, employee benefits, filing status, personal and dependent exemptions, and credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. Overall, this could mean a reduction in the amount of taxes owed by legally married same-sex couples.

How does that play into federal taxes? If you have been legally married in a U.S. state or foreign country that recognizes same-sex marriage, the federal government recognized your marriage for federal tax purposes — no matter where you live in the U.S. [source: Barnes].