Same Sex Marriage Defined by IRSWednesday, September 14, 2016Just before Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations amending the definitions of “marriage” and “husband and wife” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage, and the Windsor v. U.S. decision, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The proposed regulations, issued in October 2015, were followed by several comments and a request for a public hearing (at which the requestor did not attend, and at which no one else asked to speak). The comments prompted minor refinements to the proposed rules, with the final regulations providing the following:For federal tax purposes, the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” are defined as an individual lawfully married to another individual. These terms do not include individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship if that relationship is not denominated as marriage under applicable law in the jurisdiction in which the relationship was entered into (regardless of where the couple lives (i.e., domicile)).“Husband and wife” is defined as two individuals lawfully married to each other.The definitions set forth above apply regardless of the taxpayers’ sexes or genders.Building off of Revenue Ruling 2013-17, which adopted the “place of celebration” rule over the “place of domicile” rule for purposes of determining the validity of a same-sex marriage, the final regulations further provide:
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