On Friday, June 26, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court held inObergefell v. Hodges that the 14th amendment requires all states to license a marriage between two persons of the same sex and to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed out of state. This ruling will provide both same-sex and opposite-sex married couples with the same state and federal rights and privileges across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Before the decision, same-sex married couples were able to file joint tax returns at the federal level as a result of the 2013 US Supreme Court case, US v. Windsor. The 37 states that already recognized same-sex marriage generally require same-sex married couples to use the same filing status on their state returns as on their federal return. However, most states that did not recognize same-sex marriage required couples to file individually or as head of household. Some states even required same-sex married couples that filed jointly at the federal level to prepare pro forma individual returns for their federal taxes, creating an additional burden for those couples.
It is expected that states will soon issue tax guidance on how same-sex couples can file joint returns and whether couples who were already married can file amended returns for 2014.
It is expected that all couples will now have the opportunity to:
Make unlimited gifts to one other without having to worry about gift tax implications;