Take This Advice To Heart: 5 Tax Moves For Newlyweds
The cake has been cut. The reception has been well received. And the honeymoon’s over (literally, hopefully not figuratively). And it’s time for Uncle Sam to take a slice of your earnings as a married couple.
Now that you’re Mr. & Mrs., there are a few steps you should take to ensure there aren’t any misses with the IRS. Check out these simple tasks that can be completed in no time flat — probably well before your thank-you notes have been signed, sealed, and delivered (or texted!).
1. Update Your W-4
It sure has a nice ring to it: Being married probably means you’re eligible for lower tax withholdings. Request a new W-4 form from your employer and update your withholdings. Tick the “married” box and you’re done! You’ll see there’s an option to state that you’re married but you’d like to request withholding at the higher single rate. In short, that could mean a larger tax refund come tax time, but it means you’re basically giving the government an interest-free loan on your dime.
2. Decide How You Want To File
You’ve chosen a life partner, now you get to choose between two tax filing options: filing jointly or married filing separately. Filing jointly is usually the better option (it requires less paperwork come Tax Day).
3. Officially Change Your Name
In the name of love, you’re probably changing your name. Options include taking your partner’s name, hyphenating your name along with your partner’s, or creating a new name altogether. Just be sure to let the Social Security Administration know by filling out an SS-5 form to apply for a new Social Security card. Mail the form, along with documentation of your old name and your marriage license, and submit it to your local Social Security office.
4. More Official Business: Change Your Address
Inform the IRS of your new address by filing IRS Form 8822. If you don’t get your hands on the 8822 form, mail the IRS a signed letter containing your full name, your previous and current addresses, and your Social Security number.
5. Keep Your Health Insurance Information Up-To-Date
If you buy your health insurance through the marketplace, your new married status could impact your eligibility for the premium tax credit, a refundable credit that helps eligible individuals and families manage monthly premium costs. The bottom line: If your joint income exceeds the threshold, you may have to pay higher monthly health insurance premiums.
With just these few simple steps you can avoid any tax complications in your state of marital bliss. Which means you’ll be free focus on love in its truest form, not tax forms.