Getting Married? Don't Forget the IRS

Posted: June 6, 2012

If you are planning to marry soon, one of the more unromantic aspects you should handle before or soon after the wedding has to do with the IRS.

In America, June is often thought of as the first choice of months in which to be married. The following seven tips for newlyweds can help decrease stress come tax time.

  1. Prior to filing your next tax return, notify the Social Security Administration of any name change to assure you receive your new card with your new name. Use form SS-5, or obtained by calling 800-772-1213 or from a local Social Security office. Take the completed form and required supporting documents to your local SSA office.
  2. Request and complete a change of address with the US Postal Service to assure you receive any IRS correspondence or refunds.
  3. Also notify the IRS if you move by downloading form 8822 from the IRS website or obtained by calling 800-829-3576
  4. Report name and address changes to your employer(s) to make sure you receive your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, after the end of the year with the correct identifying information.
  5. To avoid a nasty surprise of owing the IRS at the end of the year, use the IRS online withholding calculator to determine the correct amount of withholding required for your new filing status and household income. The calculator will also give you information necessary to complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. You can fill this form out, print it, and give to your employer to assure they withhold the correct amount of taxes from your pay.
  6. Consider using the form 1040 – the “long form” to maximize all tax deductions, allowances and credits you may be eligible for.
  7. Regardless of when you married, the IRS uses your marital status on December 31 to determine if you were considered married for the year. While you are not required to file jointly with your spouse, in most circumstances filing jointly is most beneficial resulting in paying the lowest tax.