Still Tied Up In Knots - IRS and DOL Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Following Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision

September 27, 2013

As we previously reported, in United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act provides that, in any federal statute, the term “marriage” means a legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife, and that the term “spouse” refers to a person of the opposite sex.

In response to Windsor, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (the “First Ruling”) and Frequently Asked Questions (the “FAQs”) to provide guidance relating to the marital status of a same-sex spouse for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”). As follow-up guidance to the First Ruling, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-61 (the “Second Ruling”) to provide special administrative procedures for employers to recover overpayments of employment taxes with respect to certain benefits provided to same-sex spouses. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued Technical Release 2013-04 (the “Release”) to provide general guidance on the meaning of the terms “spouse” and “marriage” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and certain provisions of the Code subject to its rulemaking authority.

Read "Still Tied Up In Knots - IRS and DOL Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Following Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision."