Tax Tips for the Recently Married

As late spring and summer are the most popular time for weddings, if you are part of this year’s newlyweds have you considered your financial affairs?  Following are some items that you should keep in mind in preparing for your new life from the tax and financial side.

Notify the Social Security Administration:

It is important that your name and Social Security number match on your next tax return, so if you have taken on a new name report the change to the Social Security Administration. You can do so by filing form SS-5 with the Social Security Administration.  You can accomplish this by visiting a local SSA office or going online to www.ssa.gov .  Please be sure to verify that prior earnings are reported on your next annual SSA estimate benefits statement.

Notify the IRS if you move:

If you move your address for any reason you should notify the IRS on form 8822.  You can download form 8822 form the IRS website at www.irs.gov .  By doing so, any communication from the IRS will make it to the correct address so that issues can be resolved in a timely manner.  You should also notify the post office pertaining to the move to ensure you receive your mail.

Notify your Employer:

If you have moved or changed your name as a result of marriage, be sure to update your employer on the changes.  This way your W-2 and Social Security compensation credit will be appropriately reported.  Your W-2 will also be mailed to the appropriate address and help facilitate accurate e-filing of your tax returns.

Check your tax withholding:

More often than not, this is an area that creates tax surprises in April after the wedding.  Because the tax withholding tables are set up for “one employer” households, there is a good chance that a two earner household will suffer from under-withheld taxes and be subject to underpayment penalties.

Choice of Filing Status:

Our office will automatically check to see if Married-Joint or Married-Separate is the best way to file your taxes resulting in the least amount of tax.  Almost always the Married-Joint is going to be the best filing status.

Update Designated Beneficiaries:

Life Insurance Policies and Retirement Plans (including IRAs) have designated beneficiary forms to complete designating who receives the benefits upon your death.  Be sure to update these forms once you are married.

Wills and Estate Planning:

Especially in situations where there are children involved or significant wealth involved, you should immediately update your Wills and Estate Planning.

We hope that these reminders are of benefit to you.  By going down the checklist and accomplishing these tasks, you should be able to avoid having to spend too much time trying to resolve issues that may arise if these items are not addressed.

We  would be happy to help in any way that we can from assistance with the above or further tax planning and financial advice.

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