, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1423–1446 | Cite as

Same-Sex Married Tax Filers After Windsor and Obergefell

  • Robin Fisher
  • Geof Gee
  • Adam Looney


This article provides new estimates of the number and characteristics of same-sex married couples after U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 2013 and 2015 established rights to same-sex marriage. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service subsequently ruled that same-sex spouses would be treated as married for federal tax purposes. Because almost all married taxpayers file joint tax returns, administrative tax records provide new information on the demographic characteristics of married same-sex couples. This study provides estimates of the population of same-sex tax filers drawn from returns filed in 2013, 2014, and 2015, using methods developed by the U.S. Census Bureau to address measurement error in gender classification. We estimate that approximately 0.48 % of all joint filers in 2015 were same-sex couples, or approximately 250,450 couples.


Tax law Same-sex marriage 



We thank Gary Gates, Rose Kreider, Zach Liscow, Gui Woolston, and anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions. All opinions and any errors are our own.

Supplementary material

13524_2018_684_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (325 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 324 kb)


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the TreasuryWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.The Brookings InstitutionWashingtonUSA

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