BOSTON (CBS) – We are midway into the tax year and it’s a good time to think about taxes even if it’s only for a few minutes each day this week.
Those newlyweds we talked about last month are sending out their thank you notes right about now. But there is a bit more paperwork for them.
If you entered into a same sex marriage this year you will need to file as married on your federal tax return. Oh and if you divorced this year, much of this information applies to you also.
The first thing on the list is a change of name and address. If you have decided to change your name, make a list of everyone who needs to know your new name and address.
If you chose to use your spouse’s last name, the first change of name & address should be the Social Security Administration to update your information. Do the same with your employer and then start the changes on all of your financial accounts, credit cards and legal documents.
The names and Social Security numbers on your tax return must match your Social Security Administration records. You can get the form on Social Security’s website, by calling 800-772-1213, or from your local SSA office.
A change in your marital status means you must give your employer a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. If you and your spouse both work, your combined incomes may move you into a higher tax bracket. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool at IRS.gov to help you complete a new Form W-4. And you can print it out to give to your employers.
Your marital status on December 31 determines whether you are considered married for that year. Married persons may file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year.
Figuring the tax both ways can determine which filing status will result in the lowest tax – usually, it’s filing jointly. IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, has detailed information on filing status.
One more thing: Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for more information.