Although the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Windsor v. US allows for federal recognition of same-sex marriages, the Internal Revenue Service will only grant spousal recognition to couples residing in states that term same-sex unions as marriages. Consequently, spousal treatment will not be extended to non-marital relationships, even in states that treat their Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships as “marital equivalents.” Given that spousal recognition for federal tax purposes was intended to ensure geographic uniformity and horizontal equity, the IRS must grant spousal recognition to couples who are in relationships that their respective state identifies as a “marital equivalent”.
Shane R. Martins
"Consistency is Key: to Preserve Legislative Intent the IRS Must Afford Legal Recognition to Non-marital Relationships in a Post-DOMA World,"
Marquette Elder's Advisor:
2, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/elders/vol15/iss2/4