Thursday, April 24, 2014

IRS Issues Guidance on Windsor Decision for Qualified Retirement Plans

On April 4, 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-19 which provides additional guidance on how qualified retirement plans should treat the marriages of same-sex couples following the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor. The Windsor decision invalidated Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that barred same-sex couples from being treated as married under federal law. Subsequent to the Windsor decision, the IRS issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 which stated that a couple would be considered married for federal tax purposes if their marriage certificate was issued by a jurisdiction having the legal authority to sanction marriages. Moreover, once married, the IRS would consider the couple to be married, even if domiciled in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages. Notice 2014-19 provides guidance on how to comply with the provisions of the Revenue Ruling. Specifically, the Notice provides guidance on the following: