Tax Tips for Newly Weds

Your tax return is only one of the many aspects of life that change after you get married. You are no longer the head of the household or single. According to the authority granted to you by the IRS, you are now either married filing jointly or maybe married filing separately. Your tax refund or bill may change based on how you file your initial return.

Filing jointly or separately as a married couple can affect your tax return by thousands of dollars. To file as a married couple, you must married on the last day of the tax year. The only way to take advantage of education credits, earned income credits, tuition and fee deductions, and student loan interest deductions is to file jointly as a married couple.

What’s the difference between filing jointly and filing separately?

Your marital status is determined by whether you are married on the last day of the calendar year; however, you are not required to reside with your spouse to file under either status. Married couples jointly file a single tax return under the most popular filing status, Married Filing Jointly.

If you do so, you can claim the highest standard deduction and maximum income level for the phase-out of numerous tax benefits. Additionally, you’ll pay the lowest taxes overall on your income.

However, bear in mind that if you and your spouse file jointly under the Married Filing Option, you are jointly liable for the taxes due that tax year and cannot convert a joint return into two separate returns after the filing year’s April 15 deadline.

Reasons for filing separately

If filing as Married Filing Separately rather than Married Filing Jointly results in a lower tax obligation when the taxes are added together, you might profit. You can also utilize this status if you and your spouse want to pay your income taxes solely.

Unless you are eligible for Head of Household status, you must continue to file your income taxes as Married Filing Separately, even if you and your spouse don’t file jointly. This status could also be advantageous for married couples whose partner incurred substantial out-of-pocket medical bills, as filing jointly raises your standard deduction above the threshold for itemized deductions.

The marriage penalty related to tax rates

As previously said, a newlywed couple will probably file their taxes under the married joint filing status. Both spouses’ incomes will be combined on one tax return. Generally, the combined tax paid by a married couple filing a joint tax return is more significant than that paid by both spouses submitting separate tax returns under the single filing status. When filing your married couple’s tax returns, this can be a big surprise.

After you get married, it’s a good idea to check the federal and state taxes your employer withholds from your income. You should consider raising your tax withholdings to lower the possibility of unexpected balances when you file your return.

IRS Checklist for Newlyweds

Update your W-4

When you first started working there, your company required you to complete Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. Your particular financial and personal circumstances determine the federal income tax deducted from your pay at that time. You should review the Form W-4 and update your marital status now that you are married.

Change the name on your Social Security card.

You must notify the Social Security Administration if you change your name after marriage. Otherwise, if the name on your return differs from the name the SSA has on file, the IRS may have issues processing your tax return. Your anticipated tax refund may be postponed until the disparity is fixed.

Final Notes

The tax process will be more difficult if you file separately as a married person, mainly if you live in a state where community property is allowed. You will also probably miss out on important credits and deductions. However, filing separately can make sense if one spouse has many deductible costs or liens against them.

When the solution isn’t clear-cut, take the time to fill out practice forms to test out both approaches before deciding which works best. The best wedding gift the IRS could give you is the tax benefits of filing as a married couple, as financial concerns are often the source of arguments between spouses.


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