Posted by : Daniel Stoica in (Articles, Income Taxes, Tax Filing, Tax Refund, Tax Topic) On: May 23rd, 2011
Tagged Under : address change, combined deductions, combined income, credits, deductions, expenses, federal tax returns, Filing Status, Form 8822, Form SS-5, identification, IRS, itemize, joint return, marital status, Marriage, married filing jointly, married filing separately, money, name change, post office, refund, separate return, social security card, tax professional, Tax Return, tax situation, taxes, weddings
June is unofficially the “wedding month” since that’s when many couples tie the knot. It is also the halfway point to the end of the year, which means keeping your tax changes in the back of your mind.
When you are planning your wedding, your taxes are most likely the last thing on your mind, but there are a few things to think about that will keep tax issues from bothering you while you are concentrating on your big day. If you are currently planning your wedding, or if you just recently got married, look into your new tax situation. You can save some money and maybe even keep an eye out for a possible future refund check.
Once you are married and settled, the first things you will need to take care of are name and address changes. Then, when tax season gets closer, think about whether or not you’ll itemize deductions, which tax return form is right for you and your spouse and what filing status you’ll use. A tax professional can help you with these issues.
There are a few things you should take into consideration as tax time approaches.
-Make Certain You Use Your Correct, Legal Name
You must provide your correct, legal name and identification number to claim exemptions on your tax return. If you changed your name when you got married, make sure you update your Social Security card right away so the number matches your new name when you file your taxes. Use Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card.
-Did You Change Your Address?
If you and your spouse have moved to a new address, get a change of address from the Post Office so they can forward any tax refunds or mail from the IRS. The Post Office will also send your new address to the IRS so they can update their records. You should probably contact the IRS, as well, by filing Form 8822.
-Are You Expecting a Refund Check?
Every year, the Postal Service returns thousands of tax refund checks, mainly because the addressee has moved. Notifying both the Postal Service and the IRS of your address change as soon as possible will ensure the delivery of any refund checks you may be waiting for. To check the status of a pending tax refund, go to the IRS web site and use the “Where’s My Refund?” service.
-Your Filing Status Will Probably Change
Your marital status as of December 31st will determine if you are considered married for that tax year. Married couples have the option of filing their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Choosing the right filing status can save you money.
Filing a joint return (Married Filing Jointly) allows spouses to use their combined income and take combined deductions and expenses on a single tax return. Both spouses must sign the return. Both spouses are also held responsible for the contents.
With separate returns (Married Filing Separately), each spouse is responsible for their own tax return. Separately, they sign and file, and each is responsible for his or her own tax return. They are taxed on their own income separately, and can only take his or her individual deductions and credits. If one spouse itemizes deductions, the other must do the same.
Which filing status is right for you? It depends on your specific situation. You should consult with a tax professional to determine what situation is best for you and your new spouse.