Treasury and IRS adopt ‘state of celebration’ rule for same-sex marriages — implications for employee benefit plans
By Susan Serota, Peter Hunt, Christine Richardson and Marta Porwit
The US Department of Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance treating a same-sex couple as ‘married’ for all federal tax purposes as long as the couple was legally married in a state or foreign country that recognises same-sex marriage, even if the couple resides in a state that does not recognise the validity of same-sex marriage.
On 26 June 2013, the US Supreme Court in United States v Windsor ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had limited the definition of ‘marriage’ to marriage between a man and a woman for purposes of all federal law, was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Despite its far-reaching effects on the federal tax treatment of same-sex spouses, Windsor provided no guidance on its practical implementation regarding payroll administration and employer-provided benefits.
One of the most vexing questions has been whether the IRS and employers should treat a same-sex couple as ‘married’ as long as the marriage was validly entered into in a state or country whose laws authorise same-sex marriage (the so-called ‘state of celebration’ approach), or whether such couples should be treated as ‘married’ only if (and when) they reside in a state that recognises same-sex marriage…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Pillsbury briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.