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Tax Tips for Newlyweds

By: Deanna Scott

July 12, 2013

After all the excitement surrounding your wedding dies down, and before time gets away from you, remember that when you go from being single to being married, your status with the IRS changes. Late spring and early summer seem to be the most popular times for weddings to take place, so here is a timely list of tax tips and reminders for newlyweds:

  • Name Change on your Social Security Card - Not always, but quite often, getting married means taking your partner's last name. It is important that your name and the Social Security number that you put on your tax return matches your Social Security Administration records. So if youíve changed your name, you need to report the change to the SSA. The easiest way to do that is to go to their website - SSA.gov - and file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You can also do this by visiting your local SSA office.
  • Change of Home Address - To notify the IRS of your address change, file Form 8822, Change of Address. And of course you don't want your mail to go astray, so you should also notify the U.S. Postal Service of your address change.
  • Address Change for W-2 - You want to be sure that your W-2(s) arrive in your mailbox in a timely manner, so If you work, report your name and/or address change to not only your current employer, but to all employers who will need to send you a W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, for the past year.
  • Check your Income Tax Withholding - You need to be aware of what the impact of being married and having two incomes will be on your withholding amounts. If you and your 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 tool at IRS.gov to help you check this out, and if you want to make changes, complete a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate to submit to the payroll department where each of you work.
  • To Itemize or Not to Itemize? - If you didnít qualify to itemize tax deductions when you were single, that may have changed now that you are married. You and your spouse may save money by itemizing rather than taking the standard deduction on your tax return. Your tax professional can help you with figuring out if you should itemize or not.

You need to aware that if you are married as of Dec. 31, thatís your marital status for the entire year for tax purposes. You and your spouse can choose to file your federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. So you will want to figure the tax both ways to determine which filing status results in the lowest tax. In most cases, itís beneficial to file jointly.

For more information about these topics, visit IRS.gov., or contact your tax professional.