Hitched? My tips to make an easy switch. By Emilee Traylor

Recently married? Well first of all I would like to say Congratulations! Now as you experience this whole new world as man and wife you will come across a few things you probably didn’t plan for… One of those things is filing your taxes. Below are a few tips to help ease the transition from filing single to filing Married filing Joint.

  1. Change Your Name – Make sure you have reported your name change to the Social Security Administration. You will need to take the form SS-5 (this can be found at ssa.gov), marriage certificate and your driver’s license to the SSA office. Doing this ensures that your Social Security # will match with your new name, which will prevent confusion when it comes to filing your taxes.
  2. Tax Withholding – If you and your spouse are both employed you will need to go to your employer and fill out a new Form W-4. If only one of you is employed you can claim an additional personal allowance. By doing this you are requesting less income to be withheld from your paycheck. One thing to keep in mind is if you don’t withhold enough, you might end up owing the IRS.
  3. Fix your Address – If you and your spouse moved in together after your marriage you will need to make sure you change your address. You will want to update your driver’s license and inform the postal service of your address change.
  4. Donate your duplicates – If you and your spouse lived separately before marriage there is a good chance y’all have duplicate household items. Donate these items to a charity and get receipts so you can deduct these contributions on your tax return.
  5. Health Insurance – If you have health insurance through the marketplace you will need to inform them of your recent marriage so they can make adjustments to not only your coverage, but also to the premium tax credit.
  6. Retirement – Now that you’re married you can increase your contributions to retirement. In 2018 the elective contribution (money you choose to have withheld from your paycheck and invested for retirement) limit is now $18,500.

Marriage is a huge life changing event that will affect all aspects of your life. Income taxes will probably be the least exciting part of being a newlywed, but it is important to know how this will affect you as a couple. I hope these tips help ease the stress of filing married for the first time. If you have any personal questions please contact your tax professional or reach out to Gundersons Bookkeeping and we would be glad to help you.

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