By Michael Aston, E.A.
Alhambra Tax Center
Updating your status from single to married may bring about sone unanticipated changed, including changes relating to your taxes. While wedding planners don’t typically use an IRS checklist, here are a few things to keep in mind when filing your first tax return as married couple.
Notify The Social Security Administration – If one of you has taken on a new name report the change the SSA by filing Form SS-5. When e-filing a tax return your social security number must match the first 5 letter of your first and last name.
Notify The IRS If You Move – The IRS will automatically update your address upon filing your next tax return, but any notices the IRS send in the meantime may not get to you. The USPS doe not forward certain type of federal mail.
Notify Your Employer – Report your name and/or address change to your employer(s) to make sure you receive all your tax forms after the end of the year.
Check Your Withholdings – If you both work, keep in mind that you and your spouse’s combines income may move you into a higher tax bracket. You can use the IRS W-4 estimator to see if you need to change your withholdings.
Choose the Best Filing Status – Once you are married you can no longer use the Single filing status on your tax return. Your marital status on December 31 of each year determines where you are considered married for the entire year for tax purposes. Generally, the tax law allows married couples to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately any given year.
· Married Filing Separately – Joint returns includes income and deductions for both spouses. For most married couples, filing jointly will result in a lower tax liability.
· Married Filing Separately – If you are married you can choose to file separately. Since California is a community property state, if filing separately you must include half of your spouse’s income on your tax return and half of your income must go on your spouses return. If one spouse itemized, then the other can’t use the standard deduction and must also itemize.
To determine which filing status is best for you, consult your tax professional or go to IRS.gov. This information is from Tax Material, Inc.