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IRS Provides Guidance Regarding Tax Implications of Obergefell on Cafeteria and Qualified Retirement Plans

On December 9, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-86, which contains guidance regarding the application of federal tax law to certain employee benefit plans following the U.S. Supreme Court?ÇÖs decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized the constitutional right of same-sex marriage. ?áWith respect to cafeteria plans, the Notice addresses the circumstances under which a mid-year election change would be permitted following a change in the terms or operation of a covered benefit (e.g., a health plan) to permit coverage for same-sex spouses. ?áFor tax qualified retirement plans, the IRS confirmed that the Obergefell decision should not require any mandatory plan design changes because any such changes should already have been implemented as required under previous IRS guidance issued in response to the Supreme Court?ÇÖs 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor, which invalidated Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. ?áThe IRS clarified, however, that in light… Continue Reading

December 2015
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