The Basics:
  • First of all – Congratulations!
  • Next – call us and let us do a withholding analysis to find out if you or your spouse want to adjust your withholding.
  • If your name changes after you get married, apply for a social security card with your new name. Check in your local phone book for the Social Security office nearest you.
  • Inform the IRS if you move to a new address to avoid any delays in refunds – we can help you file this form – 8822.
Social Security Number

Your social security number stays the same regardless of your marital or filing status. If you do change your name, you should apply for a social security card in your new name. This process can only be done through your local Social Security office. If your name and number don’t match, you may see a delay in the processing of your tax return and any refunds that are due to you.  Remember – when you e-file, the IRS only accepts the name that is on file with the Social Security Administration.  If you haven’t changed your name with the SSA, then the IRS won’t accept your new married name.

New Address

If you move to a new address after you’re married, you’ll want to inform the IRS. It’s not required, but if the post office doesn’t correctly file your change of address form, it can result in delays in refunds and any correspondence with the IRS. To change your address, file Form 8822.

Filing Status

Your status on the last day of the year determines your filing status for the entire year. If you’re married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return or file separate returns. Unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns) to determine which filing status is best for you.

Married Filing Jointly — You can choose Married Filing Jointly as your filing status if you’re married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. With a joint return:

  • You report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses.
  • Your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses.

You may qualify for tax benefits that would not apply if you filed separately.

Married Filing Separately — This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your tax or if it results in less combined tax than filing a joint return. With separate returns:

  • You generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits and deductions on your individual return.
  • You can claim an exemption for your spouse if your spouse had no gross income and was not the dependent of another person.
  • You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return because you are not able to claim as many credits and deductions.

Married taxpayers typically file a joint return because of the added tax benefits and credits. If you choose Married Filing Separately as your filing status, special rules apply. Give us a phone call and we can help you understand these issues.