IRS provides special procedures for employment tax refunds related to DOMA

September 2013


In response to the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in US v. Windsor, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on September 23 issued Notice 2013-61 (Notice) providing guidance for employers wishing to obtain a refund of employment taxes paid on certain benefits provided to married same-sex spouses that were originally treated as taxable wages.

Windsor held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Under DOMA, married same-sex couples and their families were not eligible for certain tax benefits and protections (qualified benefits) that were available to married couples of the opposite sex. On August 29, the Department of the Treasury issued Revenue Ruling 2013 17 (Ruling) announcing that it would recognize all legally married same-sex couples for all federal tax purposes regardless of where the couple lives.

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