Article

Marriage and Taxes: The Ties that Bind

Before they know it, couples that are currently arranging autumn and winter weddings will be walking down the aisle. While there is a lot to cover when planning a wedding, one item that should not be placed on the “we’ll get to it” list is preparing to file taxes once married.

Learn More
< Back to Insights
Insights  <  Marriage and Taxes: The Ties that Bind

Before they know it, couples that are currently arranging autumn and winter weddings will be walking down the aisle. While there is a lot to cover when planning a wedding, one item that should not be placed on the “we’ll get to it” list is preparing to file taxes once married.

Before they know it, couples that are currently arranging autumn and winter weddings will be walking down the aisle. While there is a lot to cover when planning a wedding, one item that should not be placed on the “we’ll get to it” list is preparing to file taxes once married.  

As a first step leading up to filing a tax return as a married couple, couples should check what their withholdings were at the beginning of each year and adjust them as needed.  (The IRS has an online withholding calculator to help.) Those needing to change their federal withholding can complete and submit Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) to their employer (and should also consider their state withholdings). 

Next, if a name change is in the offing, be sure to report it to the Social Security Administration. This is essential because if the names as listed on the tax returns don’t match with what the IRS has in their database, you will be looking at a delay of any refund.  

Marriage also often means a change of addressand the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service must be kept in the loop. Newlyweds can file Form 8822 (Change of Address) with the IRS and also notify the postal service by either going online at USPS.com or visiting their town post office. 

If you are receiving advance payments of the premium tax credit (a refundable tax credit payable by the IRS to eligible households who have obtained healthcare insurance through a healthcare exchange) in the present tax year, you need to report your change in marital status to your Health Insurance Marketplace. (You should also notify the Marketplace if and when you move out of the area covered by your current Marketplace plan.) Certain changes to household, income or family size may affect the amount of the premium tax credit as well as affecting a tax refund or the amount of tax owed. 

Tax filing status should also be taken into consideration before you tie the knot. Married couples can file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Take notea taxpayer’s marital status on December 31 determines whether they’re considered married for the full year.  

Something else to consider: a new tax law that went into effect in 2018 (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) still contains some factors that can contribute to a marriage penaltyWith regard to taxes, the marriage penalty means two people with the same income would pay more in taxes if they get married and file a joint return than if they stay single and file separately as single taxpayers. While the TCJA has offered some relief to married couples filing jointly by either eliminating or minimizing the marriage penalty in a few areas, the penalty persists in other areasAs a result, it’s wise to look at your situation and consider your filing options.   

So go ahead and put a deposit down on a venue. Order the cake and flowers and decide on a DJ or live band. But in the process of making plans for that one special day, don’t neglect to take care of the details that will have significant bearing on your future as a married couple. 

  

Disclaimer: Any written tax content, comments, or advice contained in this article is limited to the matters specifically set forth herein. Such content, comments, or advice may be based on tax statutes, regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof and we have no obligation to update any content, comments or advice for retroactive or prospective changes to such authorities. This communication is not intended to address the potential application of penalties and interest, for which the taxpayer is responsible, that may be imposed for non-compliance with tax law. 

Continue the Conversation with Our Team
Get in touch with us.

Contact Us