The U.S. federal tax system will recognize gay couples' marriages even if they live in a state where gay marriage is not legal, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced in a statement Thursday.
This ruling, which creates a uniform policy for the IRS, "assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement.
Prior to the ruling, if a gay couple married in Connecticut, for example, and moved to New Jersey, they would no longer be recognized as married for tax purposes. Now, the state where the wedding took place takes precedence over the state of residence.
“With today’s ruling, committed and loving gay and lesbian married couples will now be treated equally under our nation’s federal tax laws, regardless of what state they call home,” said Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin in a statement. “These families finally have access to crucial tax benefits and protections previously denied to them under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.”