DOMA Special Tax Procedures.
Byline: Rebecca Moore
Summary paragraph: IRS provides special procedures for same-sex marriage tax credits
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a number of income tax and employment tax provisions provide for exclusions from gross income and wages, respectively, for certain benefits provided to the spouse of an employee.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided guidance for employers and employees to make claims for refunds or adjustments of overpayments of FICA [Federal Insurance Contributions Act] tax and federal income tax withholding (employment taxes) with respect to certain benefits and remuneration provided to same-sex spouses.
According to Notice 2013-61, to reduce filing and reporting burdens associated with the optional retroactive application of the holdings of Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the IRS is providing special administrative procedures for employers to correct overpayments of employment taxes for 2013 and prior years with respect to certain same-sex spouse benefits and certain remuneration paid to same-sex spouses, including overpayments that result from a taxpayer's retroactive application of the holdings of Rev. Rul. 2013-17.
The notice provides two alternative special administrative procedures. Under the first option, employers may use the fourth quarter 2013 Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, to correct these overpayments of employment taxes for the first three quarters of 2013. Under the second option, employers may file one Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund, for the fourth quarter to correct these overpayments of FICA taxes for all quarters of this year.
With respect to these overpayments of FICA taxes for years before 2013, employers can make a claim or adjustment for all four quarters of a calendar year on one Form 941-X filed for the fourth quarter of such a year if the period of limitations on refunds under Section 6511 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) has not expired and, with adjustments, the period of limitations will not expire within 90 days of filing the adjusted return. Under normal procedures, employers are required to file a Form 941-X for each calendar quarter for which a refund claim or adjustment is made.
The special administrative procedures are optional. Employers that prefer to use the regular procedures for correcting employment tax overpayments related to same-sex spouse benefits and remuneration paid to same-sex spouses, instead of the special administrative procedures, may do so.