At Bennett CPA, Merrill Bennett is an expert tax professional in Colorado Springs with the goal of providing affordable, accessible, and quality tax services. With years of experience, Bennett navigates the complexities of tax compliance to make filing taxes as easy as possible. If you are filing taxes after marriage or filing jointly for the first time, Bennett CPA is able to clarify any questions and help you and your spouse with the tax preparation process.
If you are planning on getting married or just tied the knot, now is the time to start thinking about your taxes. While in the midst of planning a married life with your partner, it is important to be aware of the financial changes that come with saying “I do”. Your marital status is determined by your status on December 31st, so as tax season approaches, here are some important tips to know as you prepare to file taxes.
Change of Name and Address
Once married, your name may change. In this case, it is very important to report this change to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you do not update your name with the SSA, your name on your tax return will not match what is on file. As all tax returns must match the name on file, not doing so can delay your tax refund.
If you have or will be changing your address now that you are married, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Postal Service should know as well. Updating any address changes with these agencies will make sure you have a more efficient time filing taxes and that mail is forwarded to the correct address.
Tax Filing Status
As long as you are legally married as of December 31st of the tax year, you are considered to be married for the entire year by the IRS. This means couples have the options of filing married filing jointly or married filing separately. Usually, married couples see tax benefits while filing their taxes together. These tax benefits can include:
Lower tax rate
Claim education tax credits
Claim deductions for children and childcare expenses
Deduct student loan interest
File for the Earned Income Tax Credit
Married filing separately does not usually lower a couple’s tax bill, and those who file with this status cannot claim certain credits or deductions, such as student loan interest and education credits. However, the best filing status depends on each individual situation, which is why it is best to speak with a tax professional who understands tax law and can help prepare your taxes.
Tax Withholding After Marriage
Now that you are married, it is important to check your tax withholding. It is possible that your marital status makes you eligible for additional tax deductions or your combined income with your spouse puts you in a higher tax bracket, as married vs. single tax brackets vary from one another. If you and your spouse need to adjust the withholding from your paychecks, you can fill out a new Form W-4 and submit it to your employer so they can handle the rest.
Tax Breaks for Married Couples
Filing jointly with your spouse means their tax breaks are also yours. By reviewing tax breaks from the previous year, you may be able to take advantage of them to lower your tax bill. For example, consider charitable donations, investment losses, education credits, mortgage interest, and more. Working with a tax strategist will allow you to identify tax deductions and credits that you may be eligible for in order to maximize your refund.
Your Tax Expert | Bennett CPA
Getting married can greatly affect your taxes, which is why it is important to understand how these changes will impact your finances. Whether you have questions about how getting married affects taxes, or you are looking for a tax strategist to best prepare your taxes, Bennett CPA can help. Merrill Bennett will streamline the tax process to make it as smooth as possible for you and your spouse to save time and money. Contact Bennett today for your tax planning, preparation, and consulting needs and questions!