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Last Updated: 11/2/2017

Same-Sex Marriage

The Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 concerning same-sex marriages and how they affect the filing of federal income tax returns. According to the IRS, individuals who are lawfully married under state law should file their federal tax return as married.

Minnesota legalized same-sex marriages as of Aug. 1, 2013. With the IRS ruling, same-sex married couples in Minnesota will be treated the same under state and federal tax laws. Taxpayers who file their federal return as married should do the same for Minnesota.

The IRS also ruled it would accept, but not require, amended or original income tax returns from same-sex married couples for all open, prior tax years. Taxpayers who file an amended federal return for a prior year should also file an amended Minnesota return using the same filing status. For more information, see Minnesota Tax Information for Same-Sex Married Couples.

The IRS also recognizes married couples who legally wed in a state that allows same-sex marriages, but now live in a state that does not recognize their marriage.

Under the IRS ruling and Minnesota law, the term “marriage” does not include registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or other similar formal relationships recognized under state law – whether between same-sex or opposite-sex individuals. 


Employees specify their marital status on Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, or Form W-4MN, Minnesota Employee Allowance/ Exemption Certificate. Your employer uses this information to determine how much tax to withhold from your wages.  


Employers should follow the marital status an employee enters on their Form W-4 or W-4MN. 

Employer-paid health insurance premiums for same-sex spouses should be treated the same as for opposite-sex couples. Do not include these benefits as taxable wages for withholding purposes. This also applies to flexible spending accounts and other uses of pre-tax dollars.


IRS's Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

IRS FAQs for Same Sex Married Couples
IRS FAQs for Registered Domestic Partners and Individuals in Civil Union