Are you a newly married couple? We can imagine that if you were married in 2020, your nuptials were full of surprises, last minute changes, and more. Because we would hate for you newlyweds to run into any more surprises and changes, we wrote this blog for YOU! Though most people equate the “work” that comes with a wedding to be on the front end in the planning, there are several things you need to do after you say “I do”, and addressing your new tax responsibilities is one of them. Here’s everything you need to know about how marriage affects your taxes:
- When you change your name, it is important to report it to the Social Security Administration. The name on your tax return must match what is on file with the SSA. If the names do not match, tax refunds and other processing matters at the IRS could be delayed. To update your information, you should file a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, which is available on SSA.gov. Keep in mind that this does typically require a trip to the Social Security Administration office and the changes aren’t processed instantly, so don’t wait until to near the tax deadline to tackle this.
- If you are changing your address, you need to inform the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service. You should send the IRS a completed Form 8822, Change of Address and notify the postal service to forward your mail by going online at USPS.com or visiting your local post office to submit a change-of-address request.
- You should consider adjusting your federal and state income tax withholdings after getting married. Consult with your Tax Professional as to what an appropriate withholding and exemption structure would be for you both, and then submit a Form W-4 to your Employer within 10 days. If both you and your spouse work, you may move into a higher tax bracket based on your now-combined income or be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. Like to DIY? Though we always recommend having a Tax Professional answer big questions like withholding amounts, you can use the IRS Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help answer this question for you.
- You can now choose to file your federal income taxes jointly or separately. Filing jointly is usually more beneficial, but it is always best to figure out the taxes each way to decide which works best for you and your spouse. Consult with your Tax Professional to walk through all implications of filing each way in order to make a smart, informed decision.
- Lastly, always be aware of scams. The IRS will never contact you through email, phone calls, social media, or text messages. If the IRS needs to contact you, their first method of contact will generally come in the mail. If you are wondering if you owe money to the IRS you can view your tax account on IRS.gov or ask your Tax Professional to review your IRS accounts.
We hope this checklist helps you get everything “tax” sorted out after the big day. And hey – congratulations! As always, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact our office!