On August 29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 providing guidance on the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor. In Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defining "marriage" as exclusively the union between a man and a woman and "spouse" as a person who is married to someone of the opposite sex. (See our prior Client Alert, DOMA Unconstitutional: Impact on Employee Benefits Plans.)
What Does Revenue Ruling 2013-17 Provide?
The Revenue Ruling provides much-anticipated answers to the question of how the Windsor decision affects tax administration. For federal tax purposes, the terms "spouse," "husband and wife," "husband," and "wife" now include an individual married to a person of the same sex, and the term "marriage" now includes a marriage between individuals of the same sex, as long as the individuals were married under any domestic or foreign law that authorized the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the couple now lives in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages. For example, a same-sex couple who married in New York but now resides in New Jersey will be considered married for federal tax purposes. However, the term "same-sex couple" does not include individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar form of relationship not denominated as a marriage under domestic or foreign law.
Action Steps for Sponsors of Employee Benefits Plans
The Revenue Ruling has broad, immediate implications for employers sponsoring group medical and qualified retirement plans -- e.g., Section 401(k) plans and pension plans.
With respect to medical plans, employers should immediately coordinate with payroll to do the following:
Day Pitney Advisory
Day Pitney Advisory
Doug Gillette and Bill Goddard will be featured panelists during the UConn School of Law's Symposium on Municipal Distress on Friday, September 15.
Day Pitney partner Francine Esposito will speak at the upcoming webinar "Workplace Leave Laws: Strategies to Navigate the Changing Landscape in the U.S." Taking place on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m., the webinar is the first in a series of webinars hosted by the Employment Law Alliance (ELA) on workplace leave laws around the globe.
On January 17, John DeSimone and Heather Weine Brochin presented a discussion about employment agreements and negotiation strategies at the NYU School of Medicine.
Day Pitney Press Release
James Leva was quoted in an article, "CT gets on board with e-pay cards," in The Hartford Business Journal.
James Leva was quoted in an article, "New payday option in Conn. — put it on plastic," in The Stamford Advocate.
David Doyle was quoted in an article, "Numbers and High Stakes for Executive Compensation Lawyers," in The New Jersey Law Journal. The article is about the important role executive compensation lawyers play in the boardroom, especially in the midst of pending changes to federal regulation in the financial industry and publicized pay jumps.
David Doyle was quoted in an article, "Independent researchers seen easing DOL fiduciary burden for brokers," in InvestmentNews.