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Say “I do” with the IRS too

Posted on July 12, 2021

It’s summer, post-pandemic, which means a huge increase in weddings. If you’ve got a wedding in your future or recent past, know that marriage changes many things financially, with taxes being among the most significant.

Change of status matters to government agencies

  • It’s important to report a marital name change to the Social Security Administration and the IRS. The name on a person’s tax return must match what is on file at the SSA. If it doesn’t, it will likely delay any tax processing, especially refunds. To update information, file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at a local SSA office.
  • If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. Fill out IRS Form 8822,Change of Address and notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com.

Withholding

  • Take a hard look at changing tax withholding. Newly married couples must provide their employers with Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance within 10 days.
  • If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the additional Medicare tax.
  • Using the Tax Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov can help you complete a new Form W-4. Couples can also review Publication 505,Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.

Filing status

  • If a couple is married as of December 31, the law says they’re married for the whole year for tax purposes.
  • Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly or separately each year.
  • Filing jointly is usually generally beneficial, but figure your taxes both ways to find out which works best for your situation.

Scams

  • Unfortunately, there are wedding-related scams out there. Know that the IRS will never initiate contact using email, phone calls, social media, or text messages. First contact generally comes in the mail.
  • Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.

As with all tax and financial-related information, consulting with your CPA is helpful, before or right after any change of name or personal status.