Summer is wedding season – even during a pandemic – and newlyweds should understand how tying the knot can affect their tax situation. Marriage changes many things, and taxes is one of them. Here’s a tax checklist for newly married couples:
1. Name and address changes
- 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 the SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any tax refund. To update information, taxpayers should 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, people should send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Taxpayers should also notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com or their local post office.
- After getting married, couples should consider changing their withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, within ten days. If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the additional Medicare tax. They can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help complete a new Form W-4. Taxpayers should review Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.
3. Filing status
- After you say, “I do,” you’ll have two filing status options to choose from when filing your tax returns: married filing jointly or married filing separately.
- While married 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 December 31, the law says they’re married for the whole year for tax purposes.
For more information about how life changes, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one, affect your tax situation, don’t hesitate to call our office.