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Last Updated: 6/11/2018

Same-Sex Marriage

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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. 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.

How does this IRS ruling affect Minnesota tax returns?

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. Individuals who file their federal return as married should do the same for Minnesota.

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. 

What do I need to know as an employer?

You should follow the marital status your employees enter on federal Form W-4 or Form W-4MN, Minnesota Employee Allowance/ Exemption Certificate

You should also treat employer-paid health insurance premiums for same-sex spouses 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.