If you’re married to a same-sex spouse, the way you file your tax return has recently changed.
You may even want to change some tax returns you filed in the past, because from now on, the IRS will treat same-sex spouses as married for all federal tax purposes.
This change applies as long as you got married in a location that recognizes same-sex marriages, either in the United States or in another part of the world. It doesn’t matter whether you were living there at the time you were married, and it doesn’t matter where you live now.
This change applies to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, such as determining filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, receiving employee benefits, contributing to an IRA, and claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit.
You now need to file your federal tax return either as married filing jointly, or as married filing separately.
You don’t need to amend your returns from previous years, but you may want to by filing Form 1040X. In some cases, you may even qualify for a refund.
The IRS has answers to FAQs about how the tax law now applies to same-sex couples. To find out more, go to IRS.gov.