DOMA Struck Down: What Does This Mean for Your Taxes?

On Wednesday the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Same-sex couples who are legally married will now be recognized by the federal government, meaning it will be easier to file their taxes among many other things.

What Does That Mean for My Taxes?

The ruling will potentially save you time and money when it comes time to filing your taxes and could mean a reduction in your tax liability.

  •  Possible reduction in tax liability – Instead of filing two separate federal tax returns, married same-sex couples will be able to file one joint federal tax return.  In most cases, this will result in a reduction in tax liability.  For example, if you have a taxable income of $50,000 and your spouse has taxable income of $30,000, you may see a tax savings of about $500 by filing a joint tax return instead of two separate tax returns.
  •  Save money on tax preparation The court’s ruling has the potential to save some married same-sex couples hundreds of dollars in tax preparation costs.  People who previously had to pay high fees to have someone prepare their taxes due to the complexity of filing multiple federal and state returns, can easily and accurately prepare their taxes together with TurboTax at a significantly lower cost.

The IRS is expected to issue details and additional guidance on the ruling soon.  Check back to get the latest news regarding updates to the tax law.

And, as with any changes to the tax law, TurboTax will be updated to comply with any tax implications of the recent ruling.


Lisa Lewis is a CPA and the TurboTax Blog Editor. Lisa has 15 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. Lisa also has been a TurboTax product user for many years and understands how the software program works. In addition to extensive tax experience, Lisa also has a very well-rounded professional background. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Prior to becoming the TurboTax Blog Editor, she was a Technical Writer for the TurboTax Consumer Group and worked on a project to write new FAQs to help customers better understand tax laws. She could also be seen helping TurboTax customers with tax questions during Lifeline. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to customers to help them is paramount.

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