Tax Tips for Newly Married Couples

Jun 18, 2014

MarriageMarriage is one of the major events in your life and probably the last thing on your mind is taxes. After the big event occurs and your home from the honeymoon, it would be a good time to get organized because April 15th will be here before you know it.

The following are some important things to consider:

Changing your name – Notify the social security administration of any name change. The IRS uses the SSA records to match your name with your social security number. If the name and number do not match, the IRS will reject your return. This may cause delays in receiving any tax refund.

Filing status – There are two options – married filing jointly or married filing separate. In most cases, it works out better to file jointly since joint returns are taxed at a lower rate. If you make similar amounts and are high income earners, it could be more beneficial to file separately. This is an option your tax accountant can easily compute.

Tax withholding – Now that your married, you may want to change your withholding status and number of deductions on your paycheck. If you are self-employed and making estimates, this amount may also need to be adjusted.

Itemized deductions – When you were single, there may not of been enough to itemize and the standard deduction applied to your tax situation. Being able to combine deductions with your spouse, may create a tax savings. If you’ve just purchased a home, mortgage interest and real estates can be claimed. Other itemized deductions include charitable contributions, medical expenses and certain education expenses. The standard deduction for 2014 married filing jointly is $12,400.

With the above tips fresh in your mind, it would be a good idea to get copies of both your prior year tax returns and meet with a tax advisor before the year end. This should help to minimize any surprises come April.

Diane Cook, Accountant

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