Saturday, August 27, 2011
With the summer wedding season in full swing, the Internal Revenue Service offers the soon-to-be married and the just-married seven invaluable tax tips to consider, including reviewing their changing tax status.
The last thing newly married couples are going to have on their minds is taxes. But here are some important steps they should consider to avoid stress at tax time months later:
Notify the Social Security Administration: Report any name change to the Social Security Administration so your name and Social Security number will match when you file your next tax return. File a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, at your local SSA office. The form is available on SSA's website at www.ssa.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at local offices.
Notify the IRS if you move: If you have a new address you should notify the IRS by sending Form 8822, Change of Address. You may download Form 8822 from www.IRS.gov or order it by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Notify the U.S. Postal Service: You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service when you move so it can forward any IRS correspondence or refunds.
Notify your employer: Report any 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.
Check your withholding: If both you and your spouse work, your combined income may place you in a higher tax bracket. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator available on www.irs.gov to assist you in determining the correct amount of withholding needed for your new filing status. The IRS Withholding Calculator will give you the information you need to complete a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. You can fill it out and print it online and then give the form to your employer(s) so they withhold the correct amount from your pay.
Select the right tax form: Choosing the right individual income tax form can help save money. Newly married taxpayers may find that they now have enough deductions to itemize on their tax returns. Itemized deductions must be claimed on a Form 1040, not a 1040A or 1040EZ.
Choose the best filing status: A person's marital status on Dec. 31 determines whether the person is considered married for that year. Generally, the tax law allows married couples to choose to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Figuring the tax both ways can determine which filing status will result in the lowest tax, but usually filing jointly is more beneficial.
For more information about changing your name, address and income tax withholding visit www.irs.gov. IRS forms and publications can be obtained from www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
David Tucker handles media relations for the IRS for the states of Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.