Does the IRS recognize Canadian common law marriage?

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beaconhill
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:42 am

Does the IRS recognize Canadian common law marriage?

Post by beaconhill » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:53 am

I am in a common law marriage in Canada. My wife and I are both dual citizens. Neither of us have ever filed US tax returns and now we are trying to become compliant. I've read several times that the IRS recognizes a common law marriage if the state one resides in recognizes common law marriage. But does the IRS recognize common law marriage if the country (ie. Canada) one resides in recognizes common law marriage? It may be advantageous for us to file jointly in the US. Are we allowed to do that?

JGCA
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:05 pm
Location: Montreal, QC Canada

Post by JGCA » Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:17 pm

Based on the August 2013 supreme court ruling the Windsoe case the court ruled that the IRS shall now recognize same sex and common law unions if teh state or foreign country where the couple reside are legally recognized. If you live in a province that legally recognized your common law union then you will be looked at the same for Federal IRS purposes also based on this 2013 court ruling. You will be able to benefit from joint filing and estate marital deduction credits like other married US filers.
JG

nelsona
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Post by nelsona » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:48 pm

This has been the case long before 2013, but, yes, you can elect to be treated as married.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Happy Browsing :D

tdott
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Post by tdott » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:13 pm

[quote="nelsona"]This has been the case long before 2013, but, yes, you can elect to be treated as married.[/quote]

@nelsona
You use the word "elect" - does that mean that one has a choice of being treated as married vs being treated as single?

nelsona
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Post by nelsona » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:08 pm

if one is not "married" in the strict IRS definition, then one can file as single.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Happy Browsing :D

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