|by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY|
Importantly, the government said those couples can do so even if they have moved to states that do not permit same-sex marriages — although they may have to file their state tax returns as if they were not married, depending on state laws.
Not all same-sex couples will benefit from the decision; some may pay higher income taxes as a result of the "marriage penalty." All will have the opportunity to amend their tax returns from 2010-12 — but only if they choose.
The high court ruling came in a case filed by
The new Treasury-Internal Revenue Service guidelines will apply to all federal taxes, including income, gift and estate taxes. They affect personal and dependent exemptions and deductions, employee benefits, IRA contributions and tax credits — even the exclusion for employer-paid health insurance, which many same-sex spouses previously bought on an after-tax basis.
The new guidelines will not affect couples who are in civil unions or domestic partnerships rather than legal marriages.
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