Getting married is a joyous time, but one that comes with numerous considerations. From living arrangements to future goals, marriage may quickly change a lot of things in your life. One thing that may drastically change after your marriage is your tax status. Single filers crossing over to a new tax status may be unsure of where to start and which options will provide them with the greatest benefits. Whether you have recently been married or are about to say your ‘I dos’, below is a simple guide of tax tips every married couple should know.
Determine the Ideal Filing Status
When you get married, your tax filing status will open up, which means you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each filing status to determine which one will suit your specific situation. To file as a married couple, you will need to be married by the year's last day. If you are married after January 1st, you will need to wait until the following year to choose this status.1
So, once you have determined you are considered married for that year, you will need to choose whether you want to file jointly or separately. In some cases, filing separately makes the most sense. This may be the better option if one spouse has tax liens, you live in a community property state, there are restrictions on your deductions, or your income puts you in significantly different tax brackets. You should discuss with your tax preparer which option will better suit your needs.1
Double-Check Your Withholding
When getting married, you will need to see if you are withholding the correct amount. You may be adding a dependent or increasing the overall income in your household significantly enough to need to withhold more. Determine what your tax liability is likely to be at the end of the year by figuring out your new tax bracket and potential deductions. Ask your employer to refile a W4 for your withholding if adjustments need to be made, so you won't find yourself hit with a huge tax bill at the end of the year.2
Look Into Itemizing Your Deductions
Even if it always made sense for you to claim the standard deduction when you were single, you may want to see if itemizing is the more suitable option now that you are married. Combining your deductions may increase them enough to make itemization worth it, and there may be some new deductions you are able to take advantage of that you couldn't when single.2
Changes to Personal Information
When you get married, there is a possibility you may have changes to your personal identification information. You will want to update this information as soon as possible as waiting until after you file your tax return may lead to problems that might delay your return. If you change your name when you get married, you will need to update your name with the Social Security Administration. If you move into your spouse's current home or a completely new one together, you will need to notify the IRS immediately of your new address.3
1 Newlywed: 6 Money-Saving Tips for Filing Your Tax Return, Investopedia, https://www.investopedia.com/articles/tax/10/file-taxes-couple.asp
2 Tips for Filing Your Taxes as a Married Couple, Brides, ·https://www.brides.com/story/file-taxes-as-married-couple-for-first-time
3 TAS Tax Tip: Got married? Here are some tax ramifications to consider and actions to take now, Taxpayer Advocate, ·https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/news/tas-tax-tip-got-married-here-are-some-tax-ramifications-to-consider-and-actions-to-take-now/
This article was prepared by WriterAccess.
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