Haniya H. Mir


In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down section three of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Shortly thereafter, the Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling under which all married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The IRS Ruling raised a host of state taxation issues for lawfully married same-sex taxpayers residing in nonrecognition states, given that nearly all states conform to the federal tax system to some degree so as to minimize taxpayers' calculations, record-keeping, and compliance burdens.

This Note explores the impact of the post-Windsor IRS Ruling on the taxation of same-sex couples in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage yet require taxpayers to reference their federal tax returns when completing their state tax returns. It details the tax filing approaches adopted by affected states and the disparate state and federal tax treatments faced by the majority of married same-sex couples domiciled in a nonrecognition state. Finally, this Note concludes with a discussion of the constitutional- and administrative-law challenges that married same-sex taxpayers can raise against state tax policies that result in discriminatory treatment of same-sex marriage at the state level.

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