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Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Baton Rouge is one of many organizational chapters whose primary goals are to provide support, education, and advocacy for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender (LGBT) community.  The group regularly meets at the Unitarian Church located on 8470 Goodwood Blvd. in Baton Rouge, LA at 7:00PM on the third Thursday of each month.  All meetings are open to the public and all interested parties are encouraged to attend. 

 

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FEATURE ARTICLE

The US Internal Revenue Service to Treat Same-Sex Married Couples the Same as Heterosexual Married Couples Regardless of Their Home of Residence

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PFLAG National’s Brooke Senter with her mom
on her wedding day

On 29.August.2013, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made a historic ruled that same-sex legally married couples will be treated as married for Federal tax purposes, regardless as to the tax payers’ jurisdiction. In other words, same-sex couples living in states that do not legalize same-sex marriage who were married in a state legalizing such marriage would be treated as married from a Federal perspective. The ruling stems from the Supreme Court ruling on 26.June.2013 that struck down key provisions of the “Defense of Marriage Act.” Same-sex couples will now be able to claim the same benefits and legal protections once only provided to their heterosexual counterparts. A ruling from 1958 that is used for “common law marriage” will be applied. A same-sex couple’s “place of marriage,” rather than “place of domicile,” is now the relevant factor.

Quoting from the IRS web site, “Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” said Secretary Jacob J. Lew. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

The implications of this ruling are significant, especially given that the IRS will allow married same-sex couples to file amended tax returns going back three years, and in some cases, back further years in special situations.

Readers who want to know more are encouraged to visit http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2153.aspx, and are also encouraged to consult with a certified tax professional. Note however that it is possible that some tax professionals may be unsure of how to address the complexities surrounding amended tax returns for same-sex married couples. Readers are advised to use care and ask questions when selecting a certified tax preparer or accountant prior to engaging that person or firm for professional tax services.

The above does not apply to State laws governing taxes in any way. States that do not recognize same-sex married couples are not obligated to provide married tax treatment in the same way as heterosexual married couples.