So you got married this year, and you are probably wondering how will your taxes be affected, or what steps you may need to take to be ready for tax season. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has your new name. The name and social security number recorded with the SSA must match your tax return. If you need to apply for a new card, call 800-772-1213 or apply here. This short video gives you some more information.
- If you have moved, make sure that the IRS has your new address. There is an IRS Change of Address form, Form 8822, you may call the IRS at 800-829-3676 or get the form here.
- So if you did change addresses, make sure that you have also submitted a forwarding request to your local post office.
- Your employer must also be updated with your address and your name change to avoid surprises with your W2, or 1099 income forms.
- Verify whether you need to change your withholding. Use the instructions on Form W4 (Withholding allowance certificate) to make sure that the proper amounts of tax will now be withheld for your marital status, as now you will be pooling both incomes together if you use the "married filing jointly" status. Complete the W4 and give it to your employer.
- How do you determine your marital status? Your marital status is based on the status you hold on December 31st of the tax year, so if you got married on January 1st or December 31st during the tax year, you are considered married for the entire year. If your divorce becomes final on December 30th of the tax year, you are considered single for the entire tax year. A married person can either file as "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately." The former status generally has more benefits, but filing "married filing separately" may be practical for a specific purpose.
- As a couple, you may find that you now have enough deductions to itemize on your tax return rather than simply using the standard deduction.