If you’re getting married this year, congratulations! There are a lot of details in planning a wedding, and, along with the cake and gift registry, your first tax return as a married couple should be on your checklist. The IRS has tips and tools to help you consider how marriage may affect your tax situation. Here are five simple steps that can make filing your first tax return as newlyweds less stressful.
Step 1: Check your withholding at the beginning of each year, or when your personal circumstances change — like after you’re married. Using the IRS Withholding Calculator is a good way to check your withholding. If you need to change your withholding, complete and submit a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, to your employer.
Step 2: Marriage may mean a change in name. If you and/or your spouse legally change your name, even if you hyphenate your last names, it’s important to report that change to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The name on your tax return must match the name on file at SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any refund.
Step 3: If your marriage means a change in address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. You can file IRS Form 8822, Change of Address, to update your mailing address with the IRS. Notify the postal service to forward your mail by going online at USPS.com or by visiting your local post office.
Step 4: If you receive advance payment of the Premium Tax Credit, it’s important that you report changes in circumstances to your Health Insurance Marketplace as they happen. Certain changes to your household, income or family size may affect the amount of your premium tax credit, which can alter your tax refund or cause you to owe tax. You should also notify the Marketplace when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan. Advance payments of the premium tax credit help you pay for the insurance you buy through the Marketplace.
Step 5: Choose your filing status. Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you’re considered married for that full year. Generally, the tax law allows married couples to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant to determine which status is best for you. When it comes to weddings, detailed planning is important. By following these simple steps and planning your taxes up front, you can also enjoy a smooth tax season as newlyweds.