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A Tax Checklist for Newly Married Couples

Updated: Jun 28, 2021


Marriage changes a lot of things and taxes are on that list. Newlyweds should know how saying “I do” can affect their tax situation. Here’s a checklist of items for newly married couples to review:

  • Name and address changes - When a name changes through marriage, it is important to report that change to the Social Security Administration. The name on a person’s tax return must match what is on file at the SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any tax refund. To update information, taxpayers should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. It is available on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or at a local SSA office. - Address. If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. To do that, people should send the IRS Form 8822, Change of Address ( you can also file address change through Tax Star Mobile, LLC). Taxpayers should also notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com or their local post office.

  • Withholding - After getting married, couples should consider changing their withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance within 10 days. If both spouses work, they may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. They can use the IRS Withholding Estimator on IRS.gov to help complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax for more information.

  • Filing status - Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly (MFJ) or separately (MFS) each year. It is important that you do not choose head of household (HOH) if you decide to file separately for the sake of credits and deductions. If discovered during an audit, the IRS will correct your filing status leaving you to pay the taxes on MFS. This may also reduce any credits which may cause you to have to payback, you could face penalties, and EITC could be disallowed for up to 10 years. While filing jointly is usually more beneficial, You have the option to calculate the tax both ways to find out which works best. Remember, if a couple is married as of Dec. 31, the law says they’re married for the whole year for tax purposes.

  • Scams - All taxpayers should be aware of and avoid tax scams. The IRS will never initiate contact using email, phone calls, social media or text messages. First contact generally comes in the mail. Those wondering if they owe money to the IRS can view their tax account information on IRS.gov to find out.


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