On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in the Windsor case a critical section of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby enabling married* same-sex couples to enjoy the same legal rights as opposite-sex married couples. These include income tax benefits, taxpayer friendly employee benefits, estate and gift tax benefits, and more. Effective August 1, 2013 the State of Minnesota recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states and also will begin issuing same-sex marriage certificates. Same-sex married couples will now be entitled to potential benefits including:

  • Filing joint income tax returns;
  • Simplifying the basis and contribution rules with respect to jointly owned property;
  • Claiming the marital deduction for gift and estate tax purposes;
  • Naming the spouse as beneficiary under a qualified retirement account and allowing the spouses to “Roll over” the account to their own account, electing portability of the deceased spouse’s unused applicable exclusion amount;
  • Eliminating adverse tax consequences for the transfer of property pursuant to a marriage settlement agreement;
  • Splitting of inter-vivos gifts;

This case will have a far-reaching impact on individual income tax and estate planning. DS&B Ltd., tax professionals can discuss the recent case and assist with income tax considerations, tax projections as well as gift and estate planning issues same-sex couples are facing. Please contact Paul Simons or Barry Divine at 612-359-9630 to schedule a confidential consultation.

*legally married under the law of their State.