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Category: General Questions

Tax Tips for Newlyweds

Congratulations on your new marriage!

A change in your marital status brings a change in your taxes. Here are some tips to help you make the transition and prepare for your upcoming tax return.

Social Security Information: It is important that the names and the Social Security Numbers that you place on your tax return exactly match the Social Security Administrations (SSA) records. The SSA updates the IRS database every 10 - 15 days. Therefore report a name change to your SSA as soon as possible for all changes to be made prior to tax season. To do so, file form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You can obtain this form by calling 1-800-772-1213, visiting your local Social Security office or on their website at SSA.gov. Additionally notify your employer and all of your financial institutions of your name change. This will ensure that your information at tax time is reported to you correctly.

Change of Address: If your address has changed you should notify the United States Postal Service by filing a form 8822. You can do so by having your mail forwarded and address changed online at USPS.com or by reporting your change in person at your local post office. Additionally it is important to notify your employer and all of your financial institutions of your address change so that you receive your W-2, Interest, Dividend, Disbursement, and other statements timely at the end of the tax year.

Changes in Withholdings: If you and your spouse are both employed, you may want to estimate and review your Federal and State payroll withholdings. Your combined incomes may move you to a higher tax bracket. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at the IRS.gov website to help you complete a new W-4. Refer to IRS publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.

Change in Filing Status: If you are married as of Dec 31, you are considered married for tax purposes for the entire calendar/tax year. You may choose to file a Married Filing Joint return, which is generally the most beneficial or you can file a Married Filing Separately return. You may want to calculate your taxes both ways to determine which is most advantageous for you collectively.

Change in Standard or Itemized Deductions: If you did not qualify to itemize deductions before you were married, that may have changed. You and your spouse may save money by itemizing rather than taking the standard deduction on your tax return. You will need to use tax return form 1040 when filing and complete a Schedule A that details the itemized deductions. You can not use forms 1040A or 1040 EZ when you itemize on your return.

For more information about these topics, visit IRS.gov

Itemized deductions and overview, click here