This time year is popular for weddings. So if you are a newlywed there are some important issues that need be taken care of—after the honeymoon. Now that you are married, your tax filing status has changed, and there are a number of steps you’ll need to take, to make a smooth transition into married life, such as…
Notify the Social Security Administration – It’s important that your name and Social Security number match on your next tax return, so if you’ve taken on a new name, report the change to the Social Security Administration. File Form SS-5 is the Application for a Social Security Card. This form is available on SSA’s website at www.ssa.gov, by calling 800-772-1213, or by visiting a local SSA office. Failure to complete this simple step could lead to delays in processing your tax return for 2013 and, assuming you have a refund coming, delay the refund.
Notify the IRS if you move – It is important for the IRS to have your current address since they may send you some correspondence, and if the correspondence is not dealt with promptly, it can make it significantly more difficult to deal with the matter. Plus, the IRS will meet its legal responsibilities of notifying you by sending the correspondence to your last known address. That’s why it is so important to keep your address current with the agency. Use IRS Form 8822, the Change of Address form, to update the IRS of your address change.
Notify your employer of any change of address – If one or both of you are using a new address, it is important that your employer have the updated address information. This will help to ensure that you receive your Form W-2, the Wage and Tax Statement, after the end of the year. It also ensures that you receive important pension plan and health care notices from your employer which will affect your benefits.
Both working? If you and your spouse both work, you should check the amount of federal income tax withheld from your pay, and revise one or both of your Forms W-4, Employees Withholding Allowance Certificate, if necessary. Your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket and your expected refund could be substantially reduced; or even worse, you could end up owing tax when you were expecting a refund. Adjusting your withholding now could prevent an unwanted surprise when you file your 2013 tax return next year.
Filing status has changed – Even if you were married on the last day of the year, you must either file a joint return or file as married separately for the entire year. There are many situations in taxes where the benefits afforded to joint filers are less than those of two single filers, and that could increase your tax liability. It may be appropriate, especially for higher income individuals, to project their taxes for 2013 so withholding adjustments can be made and there are not any shocks at tax time. Please call if you need assistance.
Itemized or Standard Deductions – If you didn’t qualify to itemize deductions before you were married, that may have changed. You and your spouse may save money by itemizing rather than taking the standard deduction on your tax return. The standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly in 2013 is $12,200. So if you anticipate your deductions will exceed that amount you should begin keeping receipts for items such as medical expenses, charitable contributions, and job-related expenses.
If you need assistance in determining your projected tax liability for 2013 and your refund or tax due, please give our office a call. Also, call if you need assistance preparing new W-4s for your employer(s). Incorrectly prepared W-4s can lead to problems down the road.