It's a big day for Washington voters, what with the federal government today honoring the will of two landmark state ballot measures approved last November. First US Attorney General Eric Holder announces that the Justice Department will not sue to block voter-approved marijuana legalization measures in Washington and Oregon, allowing implementation of these laws to proceed unimpeded. Then the Treasury Department announced that the IRS would fully recognize same-sex marriage for tax purposes, regardless of where the couple resides, as long as the couple was legally wed in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage:
"Today's ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement.
"This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change," he said.
That means you can be gay married in Washington but live in Alabama, and still be treated as a legally married couple by the IRS. Though why you want to live in Alabama, I've know idea.
Sure, we kind of presumed this was coming in the wake of the US Supreme Court's recent DOMA decision, but clarifying the tax filing guidance should come as a relief to the nation's 130,000 same-sex married couples.