Marriage is considered a major life-changing event, but it also changes how you file your taxes. If you are married by December 31st in any given year, that is your marital status for the entire year, according to the IRS. This means that you have to choose between two filing status options when filing taxes for the year you were married:
- Married Filing Jointly
- Married Filing Separately
Most couples choose to file jointly; however, there are times when filing separately might make sense. Check with your tax professional or go to IRS.gov and type “filing status” in the search field. Keep in mind that some tax deductions are not available when choosing to file separately, but it is still important to choo se the status that best represents your situation.
Here are some additional tips:
- If you or your spouse change last names, be sure to inform the Social Security Administration. When you file your return using a new name, it must match the name on file with the Social Security Administration in order to have your tax return processed.
- If you move, be sure to let your post office know so they can forward your mail. In addition, go to IRS.gov and search for Form 8822 to officially change your address on file with the IRS. You may also use this form to officially change your name with the IRS as well.
- Since marriage affects your taxes, you and your spouse should also look into optimizing your paycheck withholdings by filling out an updated W-4. Use the withholdings calculator at IRS.gov to determine the most accurate amount to withhold.
- Your marriage could also affect your health insurance situation. If your insurance is through the health insurance marketplace, be sure to inform your marketplace as soon as possible.