Same-sex couples will get the same tax benefits as married couples regardless of whether or not the state they live in recognizes their marriage as legal, the U.S. Treasury announced Thursday.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's move creates a consistent, nationwide policy for his department and the Internal Revenue Service. It now bases a same-sex couples tax status on the state in which they were married rather than where they currently life.
"This ruling assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change," Lew said in a statement.
Couples in domestic partnerships will not see these benefits; they must be legally married to file jointly in any state.
The ruling applies to all federal tax laws in which marriage is a factor, including filing status, exemptions, deductions, earned income tax credits and child tax credits.
"It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve," Lew said.
Gay marriage is legal in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.