Tax tips for newlyweds

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

newlyweds, taxes, withholding, life changeGetting married by the end of the year? Here are some things newlyweds should think about other than cake and décor.

Name change

If you or your spouse is going to change your name, you will need to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order for the IRS to process your return correctly, the name on the tax return must match the name in the SSA’s records. Unfortunately, you cannot complete the application online; it must be mailed in or taken into your local SSA office. You should also consider any children that are going to be adopted by the new spouse and their name changes.

Filing status

Your filing status is determined by your marital status as of the last day of the tax year. For example, if you are married at 11:59 p.m. on 12/31/2017, you are considered married for the entire 2017 tax year. You and your spouse should determine which filing status best suits your situation.

  • Married filing jointly. A couple must report their combined income and deductions on the same return. Certain things will change such as your standard deduction, tax brackets and tax credit thresholds.
  • Married filing separately. You and your spouse each file your own return reporting your own income and deductions. Be aware that both spouses must use the same system for claiming deductions (standard or itemized).

Withholding

You and your spouse may want to consider changing your payroll tax withholdings depending on your tax situation after marriage. The IRS has a withholding calculator on their website that may help you determine what you should be withholding.

Health insurance

If you or your spouse has insurance through the Marketplace, you need to inform the Marketplace of your marriage. This will ensure that you have the correct coverage based on your new situation and the Marketplace may adjust the amount of advanced premium assistance payments that you may receive.

Kelsey Olsen