Marital Status After DOMA: Exploring the Practical Tax Implications
The CPA Journal, October, 40-43.
6 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2012 Last revised: 27 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2013
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for federal issues. The tax implications of this law has been that same-sex couples who were legally married in their state are treated as single taxpayers for federal tax purposes. However, the Attorney General has announced that the Justice Department would no longer enforce Section 3 of DOMA because the President believes that this part of the act is unconstitutional. This implies that while DOMA is still law, the Justice Department will not take any measures to uphold it. We examine the tax implications for same-sex couples that apparently have the option to file as single individuals (according to DOMA) or married couples (since the law is not being enforced).
Keywords: Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Filing status, Same-sex couples, Tax planning
JEL Classification: J12, J18, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation