Newlyweds have a lot to think about after getting married, and taxes aren’t always at the top of the list. However, it is always important for a new couple to consider how the nuptials may affect their tax situation and filing status.
CRI has some tips to help you plan for your new life ahead. We’ve put together some simple steps to help make your first income tax return as a family a little less stressful.
Step 1: Check your withholding status at the beginning of each year or when your personal circumstances change — like after you’re married. With the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts this year, it’s even more important to check any major withholding changes. The IRS Withholding Calculator is a good way to check your withholding and see if you need to submit a new Form W-4 to your employer to make any changes.
Step 2: Marriage may also mean a change in your last name. If you legally change your name, it’s important to report that change to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the name on your tax return does not match what is on file at SSA, it could delay any refund.
Step 3: If getting married means a change of your address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to be updated. This is an easy change made by sending the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Also, be sure to notify the postal service to forward your mail by going online at USPS.com or visiting a local post office.
Step 4: If you receive an advance payment of the premium tax credit, it’s important that you report any changes in circumstances to your Health Insurance Marketplace as they happen. Certain changes to your household, income, or family size may affect the amount of your premium tax credit. These changes can alter your tax refund or may cause you to owe tax. Reporting these changes promptly will help ensure that you receive the proper type and amount of financial assistance. It is also important that you notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit provide financial assistance to help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace.
Step 5: Choose the best filing status that works for YOU. Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you’re considered married for that year. Generally, the tax law allows married couples to choose to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant to help determine what is best for your situation.
When it comes to wedding planning, details are important. If you need help planning your taxes for this new stage in your life, contact CRI today to make certain that your first tax season as a married couple goes smoothly!