Marriage brings about many new and exciting changes. One of the big ones is of course your taxes. You will now need to decide whether you will be filing them as a married couple or individually. This will certainly be a new frontier, so here is a little guide for your first set of taxes as newlyweds.
To start, you want to be certain your W-2s and any other tax forms arrive at your new address. Make sure to contact both the IRS and Social Security Administration as well as your HR department with the new info.
To officially change your name, there are 3 ways you can go about doing this. You can fill out the proper forms that you can find on SSA.gov, you can call them at 800-772-1213, or pay a visit to your local SSA office. To change your address, complete an official change of address form ( Form 8822, Change of Address) so that the IRS gets properly notified. Also be sure to have your mail forwarded by visiting USPS.com or visit your post office to change it.
There is no reason to guess as to what your taxes may or may not be, now that you are married. It is simple to input some basic info about your combined finances into an estimator. You will get a solid estimate as to what you might be expected to pay or what you may be looking at for a refund. It makes sense to be prepared, especially if you wind up owing money to the IRS. 1040.com offers a simple free tax estimator. You can also find it as an app for your smartphone.
Now that you have estimated what your taxes will be, double check to see if your marital status shifts you into the next tax bracket. Whether you decide to file a joint return or not, you may still be moved into the next bracket because you are now married. This is important information that will help you in your decision to file jointly or separately. Here is some further info on how tax brackets work.
When you file your taxes jointly, you will be filling out one tax return for both of you. Chances are, filing jointly will boost you to the next tax bracket. With that being said, this typically means more tax breaks because you can combine both credits and deductions.
Some couples may decide they want to file separately because of a large income difference or they want to keep their finances separate. One thing to keep in mind is that typically couples do get an overall greater tax benefit if they do file jointly. For more insight on this decision, check out this article from the IRS: https://www.irs.com/articles/tax-tips-newlyweds
There is no time like the present to start thinking about next year's taxes. Make sure there is enough being withheld from your paychecks as you go through 2017. This will ensure that next year, you will owe very little in taxes as a married couple. If you want help with how many allowances to claim on your W-4, check out this helpful IRS Withholding Calculator.