IRS Announce That All Legal Same-Sex Marriages Will Be Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes

from irs newswire

Issue Number: IR-2013-72

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26 Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

Under the ruling, same-sex couples will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, including income and gift and estate taxes. The ruling applies to all federal tax provisions where marriage is a factor, including filing status, claiming personal and dependency exemptions, taking the standard deduction, employee benefits, contributing to an IRA and claiming the earned income tax credit or child tax credit.

Any same-sex marriage legally entered into in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or a foreign country will be covered by the ruling. However, the ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.

Legally-married same-sex couples generally must file their 2013 federal income tax return using either the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status.

Individuals who were in same-sex marriages may, but are not required to, file original or amended returns choosing to be treated as married for federal tax purposes for one or more prior tax years still open under the statute of limitations.

Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a refund claim is three years from the date the return was filed or two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. As a result, refund claims can still be filed for tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012. Some taxpayers may have special circumstances, such as signing an agreement with the IRS to keep the statute of limitations open, that permit them to file refund claims for tax years 2009 and earlier.

Additionally, employees who purchased same-sex spouse health insurance coverage from their employers on an after-tax basis may treat the amounts paid for that coverage as pre-tax and excludable from income.

How to File a Claim for Refund

Taxpayers who wish to file a refund claim for income taxes should use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Taxpayers who wish to file a refund claim for gift or estate taxes should file Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. For information on filing an amended return, see Tax Topic 308, Amended Returns, available on IRS.gov, or the Instructions to Forms 1040X and 843. Information on where to file your amended returns is available in the instructions to the form.

Future Guidance

Treasury and the IRS intend to issue streamlined procedures for employers who wish to file refund claims for payroll taxes paid on previously-taxed health insurance and fringe benefits provided to same-sex spouses. Treasury and IRS also intend to issue further guidance on cafeteria plans and on how qualified retirement plans and other tax-favored arrangements should treat same-sex spouses for periods before the effective date of this Revenue Ruling.

Other agencies may provide guidance on other federal programs that they administer that are affected by the Code.

Revenue Ruling 2013-17, along with updated Frequently Asked Questions for same-sex couples and updated FAQs for registered domestic partners and individuals in civil unions, are available today on IRS.gov. See also Publication 555, Community Property.

Treasury and the IRS will begin applying the terms of Revenue Ruling 2013-17 on Sept. 16, 2013, but taxpayers who wish to rely on the terms of the Revenue Ruling for earlier periods may choose to do so, as long as the statute of limitations for the earlier period has not expired.

Rand Paul: Food, Water And Health Care Are Not Human Rights

from http://progressivepopulist.org/2013/08/26/rand-paul-food-water-and-health-care-are-not-human-rights/

"Asked about whether health care is a commodity or not, here was his response:

There’s a philosophic debate which often gets me in trouble, you know, on whether health care’s a right or not,” Paul, in a red tie, white button-down shirt, and khakis, tells the students from the stage. “I think we as physicians have an obligation. As Christians, we have an obligation. . . . I really believe that, and it’s a deep-held belief,” he says of helping others.

But I don’t think you have a right to my labor. You don’t have a right to anyone else’s labor. Food’s pretty important, do you have a right to the labor of the farmer?

Paul then asks rhetorically if people have a right to food and water. His response?

As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care. But it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do. . . . It really shouldn’t be seen that way.

So basically what Paul is saying that we are not truly free as long as the government plays a role in humans getting food, water, and health care. If the government does play a role, then we are basically being enslaved by the government. He didn’t mention it, but he certainly feels the same way about housing."

rest at http://progressivepopulist.org/2013/08/26/rand-paul-food-water-and-health-care-are-not-human-rights/

@TheOnion Obliterates @CNN ’s Obsessive @MileyCyrus Coverage, Exposes Bigger Issues

from http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-onion-obliterates-cnns-obsessive-miley-cyrus-coverage-exposes-bigger-issues/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ForwardProgressives+%28Forward+Progressives%29

"While many stories on The Onion are meant for pure entertainment, there are a few which mock real-life events. This article mocked CNN.com’s managing editor, Meredith Artley, for the website’s choice to make Miley Cyrus the “Top Story” on CNN this morning.

Of course Ms. Artley never wrote the article, as she clarified on Twitter (apparently there are still people on the Internet who don’t know The Onion is satire). But she failed to make any mention of or respond to the very real point the article made, a point I’ve been talking about for years — quality journalism is dying and we’re the ones killing it."

rest at http://www.forwardprogressives.com/the-onion-obliterates-cnns-obsessive-miley-cyrus-coverage-exposes-bigger-issues/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ForwardProgressives+%28Forward+Progressives%29

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Plan “Defund Obamacare” Rally

from http://www.forwardprogressives.com/eager-to-prove-neither-understands-how-government-works-rand-paul-and-ted-cruz-plan-defund-obamacare-rally/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ForwardProgressives+%28Forward+Progressives%29

"In an apparent joint attempt to prove that neither of these men understand how our government works, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are planning an anti-Obamacare rally for the first day when Congress returns from their August recess.

What’s the main focus going to be? You guessed it — defunding the Constitutionally-upheld law.

Two of the biggest names in the “let’s shutdown the government if we don’t get our way” cheerleading squad, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are apparently aiming to capitalize on the first day Congress returns from recess to make fools of themselves — which, of course, right-wing voters will eat right up."

rest at http://www.forwardprogressives.com/eager-to-prove-neither-understands-how-government-works-rand-paul-and-ted-cruz-plan-defund-obamacare-rally/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ForwardProgressives+%28Forward+Progressives%29

@Starbucks Starbucks Won’t Use Obamacare as Excuse to Cut or Lower Benefits for Its Workers

from http://www.forwardprogressives.com/starbucks-wont-use-obamacare-as-excuse-to-cut-or-lower-benefits-for-workers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ForwardProgressives+%28Forward+Progressives%29

"Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz publicly stated during a phone interview, “Other companies have announced that they won’t provide coverage for spouses; others are lobbying for the cut-off to be at 40 hours. But Starbucks will continue maintaining benefits for partners and won’t use the new law as excuse to cut benefits or lower benefits for its workers.”

The keyword in his comment that I like the most is “excuse,” because that’s exactly what these companies have used the Affordable Care Act as — an excuse."

rest at http://www.forwardprogressives.com/starbucks-wont-use-obamacare-as-excuse-to-cut-or-lower-benefits-for-workers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ForwardProgressives+%28Forward+Progressives%29

@speakerBoehner Promises ‘Whale Of A Fight’ Over Debt Ceiling

More of the same BS from the GOP.

from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/john-boehner-debt-ceiling_n_3822823.html

"House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) promised a "whale of a fight" over the debt ceiling Monday and said that he wanted cuts greater than the increase in the limit.

"I’ve made it clear that we’re not going to increase the debt limit without cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit," he said at a Boise fundraiser for Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), according to the Idaho Statesman. "The president doesn’t think this is fair, thinks I’m being difficult to deal with. But I’ll say this: It may be unfair but what I’m trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices. We’re going to have a whale of a fight.""

rest at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/john-boehner-debt-ceiling_n_3822823.html

Toxic 100 Names Top Corporate Air Polluters

from http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/08/23/toxic-100-names-top-corporate-air-polluters/

"Precision Castparts, DuPont, Biomet, the Bayer Group and Dow Chemicals are the top five corporate air polluters in the US, say researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

ExxonMobil ranks No. 6, with BASF, LyondellBasell Industries, Renco Group and General Electric rounding out the top 10 in the fifth edition of the Toxic 100 Air Polluters.

The list assess how many pounds of pollutants big firms release as well as the toxicity of chemicals, transport factors such as prevailing winds and height of smokestacks, and the number of people exposed. For example, the No. 1 firm, Precision Castparts, has a toxic score — pounds released multiplied by toxicity multiplied by population exposure) of 16.6 million and releases .11 millions of pounds of toxic pollutants (see chart). No. 2 DuPont, meanwhile, has a toxic score of 7.1 million with 10.94 millions of pounds of toxic air releases, according to the index.

The Toxic 100 Air Polluters index is based on air releases of hundreds of chemicals from 10s of thousands of industrial facilities across the US."

rest at http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/08/23/toxic-100-names-top-corporate-air-polluters/