New York to refund gay couples forced to pay estate tax

New York says it will give same-sex spouses refunds for estate taxes they were forced to pay because federal law didn't recognize gay marriage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Tuesday the refunds for overpayment of estate taxes are the result of the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Gay married people may have been required to pay thousands of dollars more in New York estate taxes when their spouses died and left property and assets because they weren't treated the same as if they'd been in traditional marriages.

â??The Supreme Courtâ??s decision to strike down DOMA was a groundbreaking civil rights victory that brought the LGBT community closer to the true meaning of equal rights under the law,â?? Governor Cuomo said in a media release. â??As a result of that decision, New York State is now able to issue refund checks to qualified same-sex spouses who were required to pay taxes for no reason other than their sexual orientation. This financial compensation is one more step toward justice for Edie Windsor, and all of the men and women who confronted similar indifference at a time of deep personal loss.â??

Taxpayers who may be eligible can contact the state Taxpayer Information Center at 518-457-5387.

New York legalized same-sex marriage in 2011.

It isn't known yet how much money will be refunded.