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Last Updated: 12/27/2017

Same-Sex Marriage

On Aug. 29, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17. This ruling concerns 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. Now, 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 that 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.

Filing Status for Individuals

Minnesota requires all taxpayers who file income tax returns in the state to use the same filing status as on their federal tax return. This includes married individuals, whether they have a same-sex or opposite-sex spouse.
Marital status affects a taxpayer’s filing status and some of the calculations on their return, including:
  • Standard deduction and exemptions they claim
  • Taxability of employee benefits they receive
  • Eligibility for tax credits based on household income (such as Minnesota Working Family Credit).

IRS's Answers to Frequently Asked Questions