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Update to Publication 555, Community Property -- 13-DEC-2013

Publication 555 is in the process of being updated for 2013. However, we are presenting this information for those taxpayers who will file prior to the final revision of the publication becoming available.

Taxpayers in community property states should be aware that for federal tax purposes individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. The term "spouse" includes an individual married to a person of the same sex if the couple is lawfully married under state (or foreign) law. However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not considered married for federal tax purposes.

The word “state” as used here includes the District of Columbia. It means any domestic jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. The term “foreign country” means any foreign jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. If individuals of the same sex are considered married, they generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status.

For more details, see Revenue Ruling 2013-17 and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions For Individuals of the Same Sex Who Are Married Under State Law on IRS.gov.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 17-Dec-2013