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August 23, 2016

Love and Money: How Marriage Affects Your Taxes

Almost 2.5 million people will get married this year, and all of them will be facing some changes to their taxes after the honeymoon is over.

From name and address changes to deciding whether to file taxes jointly, here’s your post-wedding checklist.

Name Change. If you are changing your name, you must make sure your name is consistent between your tax records and the Social Security Administration. You will need to get a new social security card with your new name on it, which you can do by filing Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card. You can find the form on SSA.gov, your local Social Security Administration office or by calling (800) 772-1213.

Address Change. If you are moving, make sure your address is consistent. Change your address with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and with the IRS using Form 8822, Change of Address. Also make sure you have changed your address with your health insurance company and any employer and financial institution that may send you information related to your taxes.

Tax Withholding and Filing Status. You may have to change your tax withholding. According to the IRS, “A change in your marital status means you must give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you and your spouse both work, your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket or you may be affected by the Additional Medicare Tax. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you complete a new Form W-4. See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.”

In addition, your marital status for the whole year is married, even if your wedding date is Dec. 31. You can choose whether to file your taxes with your spouse jointly or separately, but you’ll want to talk to a certified professional to find out whether jointly or separately will reduce your tax liability for the year.

Healthcare. It’s likely that your health care may change when you get married, as well. If you or your spouse are insured through the Health Insurance Marketplace or private insurance, you must report those changes to your insurer. You should also notify your insurer of your change in address and name change, if applicable. This is particularly important for anyone who receives advance payments of the premium tax credit, as a change in your circumstances can have an impact on your tax refund or balance due.

We hope you have many years of happiness in your marriage and family, and if you have any questions about how marriage may affect your taxes, please let us know!

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