Congratulations.. you are getting married! You and your fiancé were wise to take a few years to get to know each other better. You know their sleeping habits, their favorite food, and their friends. But do you know about their tax habits?
Here are the things you should know before getting married:
1. If you are married on the last day of the year, you are considered married for the entire year and you must file a return as Married (either Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately).
2. For some couples, marriage means paying more in taxes and for some it means paying less. Your Enrolled Agent can help you estimate your tax liability as a married couple so you are not surprised next April 15th.
3. Don’t change your W4 withholding to Married just because you said “I do”. Be sure you understand your joint tax liability before making changes. (This applies to self-employed folks and their quarterly payments, too).
4. Does your betrothed have an outstanding tax liability you don’t know about? While you may not be liable for that tax debt, it will impact your lifestyle if your beloved has to make large payments to the IRS for the next 5 years.
5. Look at optimizing your benefits at work. If your beloved has a fabulous medical plan, it may be worth getting on her benefits. Is life more affordable with two incomes? Then it may be worth maxing out your 401(k) plan. Many of these work related benefits are tax friendly.
As always, each individual’s experience is different. So, please be sure to contact your Enrolled Agent to understand how marriage will impact you.