Congratulations on your new marriage! While you likely spent a fair amount of time planning your wedding (especially if your plans were affected by the Coronavirus pandemic), you may not be thinking about the legal and tax consequences of your nuptials. Here are some post-marriage tips to help you avoid stress at tax time.
- Notify the Social Security Administration: Report any name changes to the Social Security Administration so that your name and SSN will match when filing your next tax return. Informing the SSA of a name change is quite simple. File a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card at your local SSA office. The form is available on SSA’s Web site, by calling 800-772-1213, or at local SSA offices. Your income tax refund may be delayed if it is discovered your name and SSN don’t match at the time your return is filed.
- Notify Those Paying You as a Contractor or Employee: If you are a self-employed sole proprietor filing your business income and expenses on a Schedule C, and you have a different name now that you are married, notify anyone who has been issuing you a Form 1099-NEC under your Social Security number of the name change. This will prevent a mismatch with the IRS. Your employer’s human resource department should also be advised of legal name changes.
- Notify the IRS: If you have a new address, you should notify the IRS by sending in a completed Form 8822, Change of Address. If your state has an income tax, also notify the appropriate tax agency.
- Notify the U.S. Postal Service: You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service when you move so that any IRS or state tax agency correspondence can be forwarded.
- Review Your Withholding and Estimated Tax Payments: If both you and your new spouse work, your combined income may place you in a higher tax bracket, and you may have an unpleasant surprise when we prepare your joint return for the first time. On the other hand, if only one of you works, filing jointly with your new spouse can provide a significant tax benefit, enabling you to reduce your withholding or estimated payments. In either case, it is advisable to review your withholding (W-4 status) and estimated tax payments, if any, for the year to make sure that you understand what next year’s tax burden will look like.
- Notify the Marketplace: If you or your spouse have health insurance through a government Marketplace (Exchange), you must notify the Marketplace of your change in marital status. If you were included on a parent’s health insurance policy through a Marketplace, then the parent must notify the Marketplace. Failure to notify the Marketplace can create tax filing problems.
If you have any questions about the impact of your new marital status on your taxes, call the tax experts at Cray Kaiser at (630) 953-4900.