Federal Government Recognizes Same-Sex
Marriages for Tax Purposes
Opportunity to Recoup Federal Taxes Paid
As a result of the Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, federal tax policies have changed so that – going back to 2010 – couples whose marriages were not recognized for tax purposes can file amended tax returns for 2010, 2011 and/or 2012.
On August 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. Here’s an excerpt from the IRS announcement:
“Under the ruling, same-sex couples will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, including income and gift and estate taxes. The ruling applies to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an IRA and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit.” (Read the full announcement from the IRS.)
Full-time CUNY employees whose spouses were considered domestic partners for tax purposes and who paid taxes on the employer-stated value of benefits for their domestic partner in 2010, 2011 and/or 2012 have an opportunity to recoup those taxes from the federal government.
There is a 3-year statute of limitations for claiming a tax return, so an amended tax return for 2010 must be filed by April 15, 2014. (An amended return for 2011 must be filed by 4/15/15, and an amended return for 2012 must be filed by 4/15/16.)
To file an amended tax return for 2010, 2011, and/or 2012 you need an amended W-2 or 1099 form for the applicable year from CUNY.* (To date, you may only have received an amended form for 2010—that’s okay because 2010 is the year with the immediate deadline. Be alert for amended W-2 and 1099 forms for 2011 and 2012.)
- Active full-time senior college employees should have received amended W-2s from their colleges.
- Retired full-time senior college employees should have received amended 1099s from New York State.
- Active full-time community college employees should have received amended W-2s from the City of New York.
- Retired full-time community college employees should have received amended 1099s from the City of New York.
Once you receive these forms, consult your tax advisor or the IRS for additional guidance on filing amended returns. The union cannot provide any additional information or guidance.
If you paid federal taxes on domestic partner health benefits for 2010, 2011 and/or 2012 and did NOT receive an amended W-2 or 1099 for the applicable year(s), immediately contact Yvonne Rodrigues, university deputy director of employee benefits, at 646-313-8231.* The form you need to be concerned about immediately is the amended form for 2010.
*Note - If New York City or New York State does not have your marriage certificate on file, you most likely will not receive amended 1099 or W-2 forms.