Marriage changes a lot of things and taxes are on that list. Saying “I do” can affect your tax situation. Here’s a checklist of items for newly married couples to review.
Name and address changes
When a name changes through marriage, it is important to report that change to the Social Security Administration. The name on a person’s tax return must match what is on file at the SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any tax refund. To update information, taxpayers should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at a local SSA office.
If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. To do that, people should send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Taxpayers should also notify the postal service to forward your mail by going online at USPS.com or your local post office.
After getting married, you should consider changing you withholding. Newly married couples must give your employers a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance within 10 days. If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. They can use the IRS Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.
Married people can choose to file your federal income taxes jointly or separately each year. While filing jointly is usually more beneficial, it’s best to figure the tax both ways to find out which works best. Remember, if a couple is married as of Dec. 31, the law says they’re married for the whole year for tax purposes.
All taxpayers should be aware of and avoid tax scams. The IRS will never initiate contact using email, phone calls, social media, or text messages. First, contact generally comes in the mail. Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can view your tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.