Tax Tips for Newly Married Couples

I recently received an informational e-mail from the IRS regarding tips for newly married couples.  I thought it could be useful to some so I am going to summarize the two most important tax tips a newly married couple can use and then I will also share with you an important tax planning rule with the third tip.

1. Notify the social security administration of any name changes. This is especially important when it comes to filing your tax return in the spring.  I had a client experience a delay last year in their tax return being processed because his wife did not update her last name with the SSA.

2. Make sure you check your tax withholding at your job so that you are not having too much or too little tax withheld.  My rule of thumb is if you are +/- $500 of your expected tax liability then you are withholding a proper amount.  The IRS has a helpful tool to use to calculate your anticipated tax liability at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96196,00.html .

3. Remember, if you are legally married as of December 31st at 11:59pm, then you only have two filing options, i.e. married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return.  Keep in mind that in most cases (but not all) it is advantageous to file a joint return, if at all possible.

About the author

Kevin F. Jacobs, CFP®, EA

Kevin Jacobs, the founder of Step By Step Financial, LLC, has been a recognized CFP® practitioner since 2008 and has been in the financial services industry since 2005. As an Enrolled Agent (EA), Kevin is also licensed to practice before the IRS. Before 2005, he served as a youth director in Memphis, TN. Kevin and his wife, Donella, have seven children (5 boys and 2 girls). They are active at their church and Kevin is also very involved in the community of Broken Arrow.

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