Two months after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Treasury Department has ruled that legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes.
The decision has a host of implications, even for same-sex married couples who now live in states that don't recognize same-sex marriage.
It affects how they will be treated in terms of federal income taxes, federal estate and gift taxes, the tax breaks they get for employer-sponsored health insurance and other benefits.
In terms of health insurance, until now money used to buy same-sex spousal coverage in an employer-sponsored plan was subject to income tax. Now, as a result of Treasury's ruling, that money will be treated as tax free for federal income tax purposes. And the participating employee can file a refund claim for the income taxes paid on those spousal coverage premiums.
Some legally married same-sex couples, like their opposite-sex counterparts, will find themselves subject to the notorious marriage penalty. That refers to situations where a married couple ends up with a higher tax bill as a result of filing jointly than when they filed as single people making the same income.