- Update Records: A woman who takes her husbands surname upon marriage should notify the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov) and her employer of the change. When your marriage involves a move, you should notify the IRS (www.irs.gov). Newlyweds should also submit new W-4 forms with their employers so paycheck withholding reflects their new marital status.
- Filing Status: It doesnt matter if you were married on January 1 or December 31, you must file as a married taxpayer. You need to consider whether filing jointly or separately is better for your personal financial situation. Generally filing a joint return results in the lowest tax bill, but keep in mind that both spouses are liable for everything on the return. Filing separately may be a better choice if one spouse has high medical expenses or miscellaneous itemized deductions. However, keep in mind that some tax credits and deductions are reduced or eliminated for married couples filing separately. Figuring your taxes both ways is the best method to determine which filing status results in the lowest tax bill.
- Tax Brackets: If youre married and plan to file jointly, its possible that you will be in a higher tax bracket based on the combined income of you and your spouse. For a married couple filing jointly in 2006, the rate on taxable income between $61,300 and $123,700 is 25%.
- IRA Deductions: A newly married taxpayer who was able to deduct IRA contributions as a single filer may find that he or she no longer qualifies. If your new spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, you may be entitled to only a partial deduction or no deduction at all.
So Taxes Dont Us Part: Tax Planning for Newlyweds
Marriage brings many joys and a few unexpected challenges, such as filing your taxes together. By starting an income tax to-do list well in advance of tax season, filing your first return as husband and wife will go more smoothly. Here are several items the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants suggests newlyweds do to prepare: