One thing many married couples may not think about after “tying the knot” is what steps they should take regarding taxes. In years past I have received a host of questions such as “should I change my exemptions,” “should we file married or married filing separately?” Below is an IRS tax tip that may answer a few of these questions. Feel free to contact me directly should you have further questions! And lastly, congrats on your nuptials!
Here are some great points, as well as some video links, from our friends at your friendly neighborhood Internal Revenue Service:
- Report changes in:
- Name. When a name changes through marriage, it is important to report that change to the Social Security Administration. The name on a person’s tax return must match what is on file at SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any refund. To update information, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at a local SSA office.
- Address. If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. To do that, send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Notify the postal service to forward mail by going online at USPS.com or at a local post office.
- Consider changing withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, within 10 days. If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator at IRS.gov to help complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.
- Decide on a new filing status. Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly or separately each year. While filing jointly is usually more beneficial, it’s best to figure the tax both ways to find out which works best. Remember, if a couple is married as of Dec. 31, the law says they’re married for the whole year for tax purposes.
- Select the right tax form. Choosing the right income tax form can help save money. Newly married taxpayers may find they now have enough deductions to itemize them on their tax returns. Newlyweds can claim itemized deductions on Form 1040, but not on Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.
- Avoid scams. The IRS will never initiate contact using social media or text message. First contact generally comes in the mail. Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax accountinformation on IRS.gov to find out.
- Topic 157, Change Your Address – How to Notify the IRS
- Getting Married? – English | Spanish | ASL
- Changed Your Name After Marriage or Divorce? – English | Spanish | ASL
- IRS Withholding Calculator – English | Spanish | ASL