Saying “I Do” and What it Could Mean for Your Tax Situation
Now that wedding season is back in near full-swing, no doubt brides and grooms-to-be have considered how marriage will affect their taxes, right?! Of course we know that having a tax conversation isn’t on the top of most wedding couples’ lists when planning a union. There are things, however, that the IRS wants you to know that could affect your tax situation, once you are married.
If one of you changes your name, you will need to report it to the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is an important step because your name on file with the SSA must match what you ultimately use when filing your tax return. If it doesn’t, it could cause delays of any tax refund.
Information can be updated by completing and filing Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card), visiting your local SSA office, or by calling 800-772-1213.
Not all couples move, but if you do (or one of you does), you will need to change your address with both the IRS using Form 8822 (Change of Address) and your local Post Office, or USPS.com.
Employer Tax Withholding
Depending on how you plan on handling your finances together, you may want to change your tax withholding with your employer(s). For example, combining incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the additional Medicare tax. You can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help you determine the right amount.
A couple will have 10 days from the time they are married to give their employers a new Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance) if they wish to make a change.
For more information you can read Publication 505 (Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax)
Tax Filing Status
At some point you will need to decide how you be filing your taxes – jointly or separately each year. It might be worth doing your taxes both ways to determine which would be most beneficial to you and your partner. The IRS considers you married the whole year even if you are wed anytime between January 1 and December 31 of any year.