Tax Alert

Employers Have Limited Time to File DOMA Protective Refund Claims
(April 10, 2013)


Although the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), employers have only a few more days to file DOMA protective refund claims.

A claim for 2009 benefits must be filed no later than April 15, 2013, to preserve the right to a refund if DOMA – a 1996 federal law that defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman” – is held to be unconstitutional. After April 15, claims for 2009 will be time-barred by the statute of limitations. The statute will remain open for benefits in 2010 and later.

Under current law, benefits that can be provided on a tax-free basis to a husband and wife cannot be provided on a tax-free basis to same-sex married couples. These benefits, which include health insurance benefits and group term life insurance, generally constitute taxable wages when received for the benefit of an employee’s same-sex spouse. Should the court strike down DOMA, businesses may be able to claim a refund for Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes paid on previously taxable benefits provided to same-sex married couples.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the DOMA case, United States v. Windsor, on March 27, and the court’s ruling is expected in late June.

 

For More Information
Howard Wagner
502.420.4567
howard.wagner@crowehorwath.com

David Holets
317.706.2683
david.holets@crowehorwath.com  

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Howard M. Wagner
Partner, National Tax Services