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By striking down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court has brought about a major change in the way same-sex couples will be viewed in the eyes of the IRS.

In almost all areas of the Internal Revenue Code — from federal income tax to estate planning — the law carves out special rules that apply for married couples filing joint tax returns. While the ruling does not mean that all states must recognize same-sex marriages, it does mean that the federal government —including the IRS — will be required to treat those same-sex marriages that are recognized as valid for purposes of federal law.

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