IRS Resolves the “Key West Dilemma” by Recognizing Same Sex Marriages Throughout the U.S.

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 by Mark R. Friedman

The IRS announced today that they would treat same-sex couples as legally married based upon the couple’s state of ceremony, not their state of residence.

In June, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, meaning married same-sex couples could now enjoy the same privileges under federal law as heterosexual couples. However, same-sex marriage is permitted in only a small patchwork of states. Uncertainty remained over whether the government would define marriage based on where the couple was married, or where they lived.

For example, if a same-sex couple got married in New York, but lived in Florida where the marriage is not recognized (the “Key West Dilemma”), would the feds recognize the marriage?

The IRS today said yes, legal marriages will be recognized regardless of where the couples lives. This means that all same-sex couples can now benefit from filing joint tax returns, using the estate tax marital deduction, and more.

A plethora of other important government agencies have yet to chime in over whether marriage will be recognized based on state of residence or ceremony.

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