This article was last edited on July 19, 2017. For updated information on taxes and marriage, visit Filing Taxes as a Married Couple.
Couples who tied the knot this year will file their first tax return as a married couple in 2016. Even if you’re just returning from a sunny beach or secluded honeymoon spot, it’s not too early to start preparing for tax season.
There are several things you can do to make filing taxes with your new spouse an easier process. Follow these tips from the IRS and tax season won’t interrupt the happily-ever-after honeymoon year.
Pick a filing status. Even if you walk down the aisle on Dec. 31, the IRS considers you a married couple for the entire year for tax purposes. You and your spouse can choose to file your federal income tax return either jointly or separately. For most couples, it’s favorable to file jointly.
Make the change. The IRS needs your correct address and last name, if either have changed. Report a name change to the Social Security Administration. If your home mailing address is different, use Form 8822, Change of Address to notify the IRS. Make sure to let your employer know so you receive your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, at the end of the year.
Save with deductions. You and your spouse may qualify for itemized deductions now that you are married. Save money by itemizing deductions rather than taking the standard deduction on your tax return. Use Form 1040 with Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. Form 1040A or 1040EZ won’t work when you itemize.
With your spouse by your side, you don’t have to go through tax season alone. Best wishes on your first year of marriage!
Did you miss our tips on financial planning for newlyweds? Check it out here.