Tax Facts: Filing as a Newlywed

The season of weddings is upon us!

Right now, love is certainly in the air and, if you’re a newlywed, your taxes are probably the furthest thing from your mind. But it’s important to keep in mind now that you’re hitched that, come tax time, things are going to be a little different. So here are a few tax tips from the IRS to get you through any newlywed tax filing changes!

Remember the Name Change
A lot of newlyweds are surprised to see the amount of paperwork that comes with getting married, and your name change is going to be one of the most important things to document. If your name changed when you got married, you’ll need to make sure to update the Social Security Administration (SSA) with Form SS-5 so they can update your Social Security card and ensure your SSN matches your new name. Trust us: if your SSN and name don’t match on your tax return as they do with the SSA’s records, you’re in for quite the headache.

Update Your Address
The IRS will almost always contact you through the mail if they need to get in touch with you, whether it’s to report an error in your filing or to send you your tax refund. So if you move after getting married, you’ll want to make sure to update the US Postal Service so you can have your mail forwarded to your new address. It’s also a good idea to let the IRS know of your address change with Form 8822 (just in case) and to let your employer(s) know so they’ll know where to send your W-2 Form(s).

Choose the Right Form
You’ve probably gotten used to filing the same form for your tax return each year. But as a newlywed, you may have enough deductions to itemize your return. And if you choose to itemize, you must use Form 1040 instead of Form 1040A or 1040EZ.

And Pick Your Best Filing Status
So long as you’re married by December 31, the IRS considers you married for the full year. This means you get to pick whether you’d like to file alone or file a joint return with your spouse. Depending on your income, deductions, and a few other factors, how you decide to file may end up saving you money:

  • Married Filing Jointly – this allows spouses to combine their income and deduct combined deductions and expenses on a single return. Both spouses are required to sign the return and you’ll both be held responsible for the contents of your return.
  • Married Filing Separately – if you file separately, you and your spouse are each responsible for signing and filing your own tax return using your own income, deductions, and credits. Keep in mind though that if one spouse itemizes deductions, the other must do so as well.

But that’s enough tax talk for now – go enjoy the honeymoon and first year of marriage! Just be sure to remember all this for tax time next year! And stick with ExpressTaxFilings for all the tax facts you need!

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