Legally married same-sex couples will be able to file joint tax returns, regardless of where they live, the Obama administration said Thursday.
The move was in response to the Supreme Court's June ruling that struck down a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing same-sex married couples to claim marriage-related tax credits and deductions no matter their location.
The new rule “provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve,” said Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. - Read more at USA Today
U.S. IS PREPARED TO GO IT ALONE IN SYRIA President Obama is still prepared to take military action in Syria, even after the British Parliament rejected a motion to assist in a limited strike to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for allegedly launching a chemical weapons attack last week. Although the president has not made a final decision, a strike may occur as early as Saturday, after U.N. workers tasked with investigating last week’s attack leave the country.
French President Francois Hollande affirmed his nation’s commitment to a Syrian intervention in a newspaper interview. In France, Parliamentary approval is not required for military action, though the extent of its role has yet to be determined. - Read more at the New York Times
PROBE OF OVERSEAS BANK HIRES The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Dept. are investigating the global hiring practices of banks and hedge funds to see if there have been violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids companies from giving money or other items of value to foreign officials to secure business.
The probes are focused on the hiring of relatives of foreign officials “with the intent of winning business,” The Wall Street Journal’s Robin Sidel and Cynthia Koons write. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
NO DEADLINE FOR DEBT-CEILING When Jack Lew warned Congress earlier this week that the nation will hit its borrowing limit in mid-October, he didn’t offer a specific date, as his predecessor Timothy Geithner did in the past. Some analysts see this as a strategy that could prevent lawmakers from waiting until the last minute to reach a deal – the usual game in Washington.
Steve Bell, senior director at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said Geithner “probably was being more specific than he ought to have been.”
In his letter to Congress on Monday, Lew said, “It is not possible for us to estimate with any precision the date on which Treasury would exhaust its cash in this situation." - Read more at The Hill