Congratulations! You’ve tied the knot! You’re ready to relax and enjoy wedded bliss, and taxes probably aren’t on your radar just yet. Here’s the thing: now that you are a married couple, your tax situation will be different, and it’s best to prepare as early as possible. That’s why we’ve put together a basic tax prep checklist that should make it simpler and easier to file your tax return as a married couple.
Get a new Social Security Card. When you file a tax return, your name and SSN must match the records held by the Social Security Administration. If one of you changed your name, you’ll need to report the change and file for a new social security card.
Change your withholdings. When you started at your job, your employer asked you to fill out the W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The amount of federal income tax that has been withheld from your pay is based on your personal and financial situation at that time. Now that you’re married, you’ll want to revisit the Form W-4 and change your marital status.
Note: if you and your spouse both work, your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you complete a new Form W-4.
Notify the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you purchase your health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, certain factors like marriage, family composition, and changes in income will affect how much you receive as your premium tax credit. Now that you are married, you’ll need to report the changes in circumstances to the Marketplace. This will allow them to adjust your advance payment amount and ensure that your premium tax credit is accurate when you file your return.
Report your new address. Did you move into a new place after your wedding? If one or both of you now has a different address, be sure to let the IRS know by filling out a Form 8822, Change of Address. And if you purchase insurance through the Marketplace, be sure to notify them as well if you move out of the area covered by your current plan.
Change your filing status. Even though your wedding took place during the summer, as far as the IRS is concerned, you’ve been married all year. In fact, if you were married anytime before Dec. 31 of the current tax year, that will be your marital status for the entire year for tax purposes. You and your spouse can choose to file your federal income tax return either jointly or separately each year. You may want to figure the tax both ways to find out which status results in the lowest tax.