The summer wedding season is fast approaching. Wedding planning is often overwhelming but figuring out how marriage will affect a couple's tax situation doesn't have to be. Here are a few things couples should think about as they prepare for the big day.
Name and address changes
People who change their name after marriage should report it to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. The name on a person's tax return must match what is on file at the SSA. If it doesn't, it could delay any tax refund. To update information, taxpayers should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at a local SSA office.
If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. To do that, people should send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Taxpayers should also notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com or their local post office.
After getting married, couples should consider changing their withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance within 10 days. If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the additional Medicare tax. They can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help complete a new Form W-4. Taxpayers should review Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.
Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly or separately each year. For most couples, filing jointly makes the most sense, but each couple should review their own situation. If a couple is married as of December 31, the law says they're married for the whole year for tax purposes.