Taxes might not be romantic, but they’re an important consideration for engaged couples and newlyweds. After you tie the knot, your taxes can change significantly. Depending on your filing status and specific financial circumstances, you could receive multiple tax benefits or face some tax consequences.
At Polston Tax, we have the tax tips you need as a newlywed. If you have questions or need help filing your tax return, reach out to a tax attorney at Polston who can simplify the process and ensure every step is handled correctly.
Tax Tips for Newlyweds
If you plan on walking down the aisle this year, here are some tips for filing taxes when you’re newly married that can help you have a long, prosperous marriage and hopefully avoid some tax trouble:
- Pick your filing status: If you’re newly married, filing taxes becomes a different process. As soon as you say, “I do”, your filling status has now changed. You will no longer be able to file as Single and now have two options to choose from — married filing jointly or married filing separately. This will change your status for the whole tax year, no matter when you get married. There are advantages and things to consider for each filing status. At Polston Tax, we can advise you on which filing status would be best for your financial circumstances.
- Prepare for marriage tax penalty or the tax bonus: Depending on what type of income your new partner brings in will influence whether you will get a marriage bonus or a marriage penalty on your taxes that year. If you’re married and you file married jointly, you are combining your incomes for the first time, and this can cause the penalty or the bonus. A penalty typically occurs when newlyweds with equal incomes marry, while a marriage bonus tends to occur when newlyweds have disparate incomes.
- Review your tax withholding: Reviewing your tax withholding is essential when your tax status changes. Your new status could bump you into a higher tax bracket or make you eligible for a greater number of tax deductions. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to adjust your tax withholding. At Polston Tax, we can help you calculate your withholding allowances to boost your take-home pay or tax refund.
- Qualify for tax deductions via charitable donations: If you haven’t decided on a venue to get married, you might consider a nonprofit venue and make a donation to use the space. Once it is time for you and your partner to start preparing your taxes, you could use that donation as a tax deduction on your joint return! Also, if you decide to donate the leftover food from the wedding or your wedding dress, that can be a tax deduction.
- Notify the Social Security Administration of your new last name: If one of you decides to change your last name after the wedding, make sure to let the Social Security Administration know. To start the process, you will need to fill out the Form SS-5. You can get this form online, pick one up or have them mail you one by calling 800-772-1213. Take this step before attempting to change your name on other documents or accounts like your driver’s license.
- Change your address: Do you plan on moving into your spouse’s house after the wedding? If so, don’t forget to tell the IRS and file the Form 8822. You need to tell the IRS of the address change to prevent a scammer from stealing your identity and filing a fraudulent return. Also, if you file with a different address from prior years, it could look suspicious to the IRS.
- Review every potential tax break: Filing your taxes jointly with your spouse means their tax breaks are yours. Consider charitable donations, dependent care credits, mortgage interest, education credits and investment losses. Take this step early enough, and you may even have time to find a few more tax breaks you can take advantage of before the year ends. Polston Tax can help you identify potential tax breaks for you and your spouse.
- Update your employer: Don’t forget to tell your workplace that you got married. They will need to know your new filing status, if you changed your last name and if you moved. You want to make sure they know, so all your information is correct on your W-2 and Tax Statement Form.
If you have concerns about filing your taxes this season, Polston Tax can answer your questions and offer the services you need.
Newly Married and Filing Taxes? Get Help From Polston Tax
Filing taxes as a newly married couple doesn’t have to be a headache. If you or your partner need help filing your federal tax returns or need help paying back taxes, Polston Tax can help! We assist clients nationwide and offer advanced tax services that include installment agreements, offers in compromise, revenue officer representation, penalty abatements, accounting and bookkeeping, advanced tax planning and tax return preparation.
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