Wedding Plans Should Include Tax Plans
If you’re getting married this year, congratulations! There are a lot of details in planning a wedding, but I’m sure your first tax return as a married couple wasn’t on your list, but it most definitely should be!! The IRS has tips and tools to help you consider how marriage may affect your tax situation.
Here are five simple steps that can make filing your first tax return as newlyweds less stressful.
Step 1: Check your withholding at the beginning of each year, or when your personal circumstances change — like after getting married. Using the IRS Withholding Calculator is a good way to check if you are withholding the correct amount of taxes. If you need to change your withholding, complete and submit a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to your employer.
Step 2: Marriage may mean a name change (or if you’re like my wife, the name change doesn’t come until your passport needs to be renewed). If you and/or your spouse legally change your name, even if you hyphenate your last names, it’s important to report that change to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The name on your tax return MUST match the name on file at SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any refund.
Step 3: If you and your new beau also registered for a sweet new pad together, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. You can file IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, to update your mailing address with the IRS. Notify the postal service to forward your mail by going online at USPS.com or by visiting your local post office.
Step 4: Getting married usually means reassessing the best deal for your insurances, especially health insurance. If you or your spouse purchase your health insurance through one of the Marketplaces AND receive advance payment of the Premium Tax Credit (advance payments of the premium tax credit help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace), it’s important that you report changes in circumstances to your Health Insurance Marketplace as they happen. Changes to your household, income or family size may affect the amount of your premium tax credit, which can alter your tax refund or cause you to owe taxes. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan.
Step 5: Choose your filing status. Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you’re considered married for that full year. Generally, the tax law allows married couples to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant to determine which status is best for you.
When it comes to weddings and taxes, detailed planning is important. By following these simple steps and planning your taxes up front, you can also enjoy a smooth first tax season as newlyweds.
Be sure to choose a reputable tax preparer who will take the time to explain the info on your tax returns, what credits and deductions you did or didn’t qualify for, how to properly adjust your tax withholdings, etc. so you and your new spouse are both on the same page when it comes to your tax liability. My Numbers Guy will always take the time to explain any questions or concerns you may have!
Information adapted from: