IRS advice to newlyweds
|May 17, 2012||Filled under Business||
It may not be high on the list of wedding planning activities, but there are a few simple steps that can help keep tax issues from interrupting your newly-wedded bliss. If you recently married, check out your new tax situation, advises the IRS.
No one should delay the cake cutting or honeymoon because of taxes. But here are some helpful hints for later:
Use the Correct Name
You must provide correct names and identification numbers to claim personal exemptions or the Earned Income Tax Credit on your tax return. If you changed your name upon marrying, let the Social Security Administration know and update your Social Security card so the number matches your new name. Use Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card.
Report Your Change of Address
If you or your spouse have a new address, notify the U.S. Postal Service, so that it will be able to forward any tax refunds or IRS correspondence. The Postal Service will also pass your new address on to the IRS, which will update your account. You may also notify the IRS directly by sending Form 8822, Change of Address.
Get That Refund Check
Each year, the Postal Service returns thousands of tax refund checks as undeliverable, usually because the addressee has moved. Notifying both the Postal Service and the IRS of an address change in a timely manner can help ensure the proper delivery of any refund checks. To check the status of a tax refund, use the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” service or call the toll-free refund line at 1-800-829- 1954.
Select the Right 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. Amounts paid for medical care, mortgage interest, contributions, casualty losses and certain miscellaneous costs can reduce your taxable income, lowering your tax.
Choose the Best Filing Status
Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you are considered married for that year. Married persons may file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Choosing the right filing status may save you money.
• A joint return (Married Filing Jointly) allows spouses to combine their income and to deduct combined deductions and expenses on a single tax return. Both spouses must sign the return and both are held responsible for the contents.
• With separate returns (Married Filing Separately), each spouse signs, files and is responsible for his or her own tax return. Each is taxed on his or her own income, and can take only his or her individual deductions and credits. If one spouse itemizes deductions, the other must also.
Figuring the tax both ways can determine which filing status will result in the lowest tax — usually, it’s filing jointly. IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, has detailed information on filing status.