Tax Tips for Newlyweds

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As the wedding season hits full swing, the IRS has issued a reminder that a change in marital status can affect clients’ taxes.

If you’ve got clients who have recently married or are planning on getting hitched soon, they should bear the following tips in mind:

  • If you’ve changed your name, report the change to the Social Security Administration with Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The form is available on the site, by calling (800) 772-1213 or by visiting a local SSA office.
  • If your address has changed, file an IRS 8822, Change of Address. You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Report your name or address change to your employer to help ensure that you receive your W-2 after the end of the year.
  • If you and your new spouse both work, you should check the amount of federal income tax withheld from your pay; your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator to help complete a new W-4 and see Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.
  • You and your new spouse may save money by itemizing rather than taking the standard deduction on your tax return. You’ll need to use a 1040 with Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. You can’t use forms 1040A or 1040EZ when you itemize.
  • If you are married as of December 31, that’s your marital status for the entire year for tax purposes. You and your spouse usually may choose to file your federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. You may want to figure the tax both ways to determine which filing status results in the lowest tax. In most cases, it’s beneficial to file jointly.
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