Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional, thereby giving legally married same-sex couples various federal protections and benefits. Among these benefits is the ability to file joint income tax returns for federal purposes (as allowed for state purposes in MA and other states allowing same-sex marriage), as opposed to filing as two single people. Additionally, legally married same-sex couples are now entitled to an unlimited marital deduction for federal estate tax purposes. Finally, a deceased same-sex spouse’s IRA can now be rolled over to a surviving spouse’s IRA without first being subject to tax. These are just a few of the over 1,000 federal benefits previously given only to opposite-sex married couples that will now be available to same-sex couples as well.

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