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Understanding Taxation Changes for the Recently Wed

September 8th

Summer is probably the most popular season for weddings. As love permeates the summer air, it is easy to forget how this major life changes can affect your tax bill. In order to avoid sudden shocks and trouble down the road, the Internal Revenue Service advises the soon-to-be married and recently wed to review their changing tax status.

By taking just a few simple steps, it is possible to avoid excess stress at tax time:

1. Notify the Appropriate Authorities. When you get married, there are a few government offices you need to notify in order to avoid tax headaches. First and foremost, the Social Security Administration ought to be informed of any name changes via a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You should also notify the IRS of any change of address by sending a Form 8822, Change of Address. In addition, be certain to notify both the US Postal Service and your employer of any name and address changes.

2. Check your withholding. Ensure that you are being taxed in the correct bracket. If both you and your spouse work, it is possible that you might be taxed jointly in a higher bracket. After checking to make certain the withholding is accurate, file any corrections with the IRS by completing a new Form W-4, Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate.

3. Select the Most Beneficial Filing Status. Generally, the marital status of an individual on December 31 determines whether that person is considered married for that year. However, typically tax law allows married couples to decide for themselves whether they wish to file their federal income tax returns jointly or separately. Figure out your taxes both ways each year to determine which option will result in the lowest amount of owed taxes. As a general rule, filing jointly is the most beneficial option, but it is still worthwhile to check.


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