When you think about finding “the one” and what our future marriage will be like, I can almost guarantee the last thing you’d ever think about is how it will affect your taxes. Marriage is wonderful, but it does bring in some changes that are important to consider, whether you’re currently engaged or a newlywed. For this week’s post, I am partnering with 1040.com to share 5 Tax Tips for Newlyweds that are sure to the start of this new chapter of your life go a little bit smoother!
I discovered 1040.com a couple of weeks ago as I was scrolling through Instagram, and was taken by surprise as I began to read the platform that this awesome company has created. Every time you file your taxes with 1040.com, they donate $2 to fund clean water projects with Healing Waters. They have free filing and paid, but whichever you choose, they still make a donation! I got in contact with them to hear more about their platform and discovered we both share a heart for using the seemingly small and ordinary parts of our life to make a difference and help those in need. Just last year, 1040.com was able to fund 2.6 million gallons of clean water – a year’s supply for over 14,000 people!
With 1040.com’s help, I’ve gathered the following tax tips to help those planning a wedding or recently married:
1. Update Your Information On File
The first tip we have for you is to send your updated name and address to the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and your employer.
To change your name, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. You can get this form on their website at SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213, or by visiting your local SSA office. To change your address, file Form 8822, Change of Address to notify the IRS and also check in with your boss to make sure your W-2 comes to the right place.
*Note: You can ask to have your mail forwarded online at USPS.com or report the change at your local post office.
2. Decide Whether to File Separately or Jointly
Confused about which to choose? Married filing jointly means that you’ll fill out one tax return that includes both spouses. Filing jointly will probably bump you up a tax bracket, but you might also get more tax breaks by combining credits and deductions. Married filing separately means each spouse will file their own return. Couples who like to keep their finances separate prefer this option, especially if there is big difference in the amounts of their individual incomes.
*Note: If you file separately, you may not qualify for as many credits and the standard deduction for each spouse will be less.
3. Estimate Your Taxes
This is important for understanding how much you’ll owe or how much you’ll get back in a refund. This way, you’re prepared when it comes time to file your return and you owe money to the IRS. 1040.com has a great tax estimator that’s also available as an app in the App Store and Google Play.
4. Know Your New Tax Bracket
Once you’ve estimated your taxes, check to see if your marital status moves you up to the next tax bracket. You can learn more about how tax brackets work on the 1040.com blog.
5. Adjust Your W-4 With Your Employer
Last but not least – after you’ve filed, it’s important to adjust your W-4 with your employer to make sure you have enough withheld from your paychecks throughout 2017. This is so when next year rolls around and you have to file your 2017 return, you’ll owe little to nothing in taxes as a married couple. Use the IRS.gov Withholding Calculator to figure out just how many allowances to claim on your W-4.
I hope these tips have helped you feel more prepared for your future in marriage!