Hear the Wedding Bells
With the ever increasing opening-up of our country at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the warmth of summer are coming more weddings. You may have even received some invitations to some, which reminded you whether you were happy or not to have not had to go to one over the last year-plus. For those getting married, this comes with many tax implications, so it seemed a good time to go over some of these.
Some of those implications do not even involve getting into numbers or computations. If a partner is changing their name due to the marriage, this should be reported to the Social Security Administration. And then remember that the name on your tax return must match what is on record with the SSA. If marriage is meaning a change of address for one or both parties, also notify the IRS and US Postal Service about that.
Then of course, there are the numbers. All too often, couples get married, understand there are going to be some tax implications, but have no idea what they will actually look like until it comes time to file. You can get way ahead of this, though, and it does not even have to be that complicated.
A good first step will be to fill out a new W-4 form and give it to your employer. Even if you put no thought into this beyond selecting that you will be filing as a married couple instead of a single individual, this could get you closer to having the correct amount of taxes withheld from your paycheck. The form also has places to mark if your tax situation includes multiple jobs, dependents, or any other income you expect to report on a tax return.
A full W-4 form comes with multiple steps, charts full of numbers and a worksheet to fill out so a lot of people get overwhelmed by it. When you break it down, it is not overly complicated, but it sure looks like it is. The IRS, however, also offers an online withholding estimator that can be reached by this link. There you can input some information and numbers and get a little feedback on how to fill out your W-4. Chances are you will not mind how things look and you will avoid any surprises come April of next year.
Marriage is a joyous time but it also comes with a lot of to think about beyond the vows and reception. I do not expect taxes to be anywhere near the top of the list of what is on your mind when it is happening, but it should be fit in somewhere soon afterward. And if you can do that, it is just another reason to offer you congratulations and good wishes.
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To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.
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