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3 Tax Tips for Married Couples

If you’ve recently joined the 131 million married couples in the United States, congratulations! Not only do you get to enjoy the relationship you share with your spouse, but you get to reap the legal benefits of marriage!

As an individual, you may have filing your taxes down to a science. However, no that you’re married, tax season will look a little different. 

If you’re recently married and on the hunt, for tax tips to help ensure you don’t accidentally commit fraud, you’ll want to keep reading for some of the most essential tips all new couples should consider before filing their taxes. 

1. Know When You Can File Together

Though you may have gotten married earlier in the year and settled into your life as a couple, you may not be able to file joint taxes just yet. For example, if you got married in January, you won’t be able to file as a married couple in April.

Your marital status as of December 31st of the tax year determines how you can file. In some instances, depending on when you were married, you can file under your maiden name if you haven’t had the opportunity to change your name yet. However, taking care of this issue sooner than later is recommended for ease of filing. 

2. Report Changes

Next, you’ll need to report a few changes to the IRS and your employer. 

You’ll need to inform the IRS and your employer about address changes. You can use Form 8822 to report to the IRS and tell the HR department to ensure they can update your tax information.

Similarly, if you change your name, you’ll need to change it at your local social security office. This ensures you can update your information with the IRS using form SS-5 to receive your tax returns. 

3. Filing Together vs. Separately

When most get married, they automatically assume they’ll need to file together. However, joint taxes aren’t always the best option for couples. 

For example, if you make significantly more than your spouse, it would make sense to file together. However, if you both make a comparable income, filing separately would be recommended, as filing together can bump you into a higher tax bracket, meaning you’ll be expected to pay more than if you filed individually.

Similarly, if you’re spouse has medical expenses they’d like to deduct, or you believe they may not be honestly reporting their income, you can look into the spouse relief program to prevent you from being held responsible.

Tax Tips All Married Couples Should Know

Doing taxes can be an extremely stressful time. However, keeping this tax advice in mind can help the process go smoothly.  Remember, when in doubt, consulting a professional can help clear up any questions or confusion you run into.

If you found these tax tips informative, you’ll want to check out the rest of our blog. You’ll discover more of the best financial information to help you manage your money like a pro.  

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