What Newlyweds Need to Know About Filing Their Taxes
Did you get married over the last year? If so, congratulations! What an exciting year! In addition to all of the thank you notes you need to write, you should also start thinking about how marriage will affect your taxes in the coming years. We have pulled together some important information that will help guide you through this process so that you can focus more on all of the excitement and fun and still have your taxes taken care of.
Name and Address Change?
If you changed your name when you got hitched, you should make sure that this change is recorded appropriately before tax time. We recommend that you make this change with the Social Security Administration first so that the change is official and your new name is connected to your social security number when it comes time to file. You should communicate this change as well as an address change to your employer and to the IRS. If your name and address do not match, you can expect a rejection of your return from the IRS.
How to File?
Deciding whether you should file jointly or separately is the single biggest tax decision for a newly married couple. It is generally in your best interest to file “married filing jointly,” but if you are unsure, you or your tax firm can run your return both ways to see which way benefits the two of you most. Like many things with marriage, if you file jointly, you each assume joint responsibility for the return – so if there are errors (purposeful or otherwise) on your spouse’s portion of the return, you are responsible as well. You should note that you can switch between married filing jointly and married filing separately each year if you wish, you just must file as married.
Depending how much you and your spouse earn when your income is added together, you may actually pay more taxes than if each of you was filing separately. One thing you can do before tax time arrives is take a look at the federal taxes withheld from your pay. Your combined income may put you into a different tax bracket and you may want to consider changing your W-4.
More Complicated Return?
Filing jointly for the first time can raise questions and simply make your tax return more complicated. Transition times are excellent opportunities to seek the help and guidance of a trusted tax professional, to be sure that you are following all necessary tax laws while protecting your own interests.
Success Tax Relief has been helping clients with all types of tax returns for more than 30 years and has extensive experience with efficiently assisting individuals who have recently made a change to their tax status. We are happy to review your information to help determine how best to file and while we are at it, we can make sure that you are maximizing your deductions and keeping the most money possible in your pocket. Contact us today to discover more about what we can do for you!