The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released new guidelines on how it will treat, for tax purposes, same-sex partners. The most relevant questions are:
Q1. When are individuals of the same sex lawfully married for federal tax purposes?
A1. For federal tax purposes, the IRS looks to state or foreign law to determine whether individuals are married. The IRS has a general rule recognizing a marriage of same-sex spouses that was validly entered into in a domestic or foreign jurisdiction whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex even if the married couple resides in a domestic or foreign jurisdiction that does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.
Q6. If same-sex spouses (who file using the married filing separately status) have a child, which parent may claim the child as a dependent?
A6. If a child is a qualifying child under section 152(c) of both parents who are spouses (who file using the married filing separate status), either parent, but not both, may claim a dependency deduction for the qualifying child. If both parents claim a dependency deduction for the child on their income tax returns, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child resides for the longer period of time during the taxable year. If the child resides with each parent for the same amount of time during the taxable year, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with the higher adjusted gross income.
Q8. If a taxpayer adopts the child of his or her same-sex spouse as a second parent or co-parent, may the taxpayer (“adopting parent”) claim the adoption credit for the qualifying adoption expenses he or she pays or incurs to adopt the child?
A8. No. The adopting parent may not claim an adoption credit. A taxpayer may not claim an adoption credit for expenses incurred in adopting the child of the taxpayer’s spouse (section 23).
You can view the entire list here. If you have questions on domestic partnerships, our office focuses on helping you through all forms of domestic arrangements. Please visit our own FAQs.