Midyear Tax Planning: The Newlyweds

BOSTON (CBS) – Those June weddings we talked about last month all have a tax consequence to them. The newlyweds are sending out thank you notes right about now, but there is a bit more paperwork for them.

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 your financial accounts, credit cards and legal documents including insurance policies and driver license.

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, or by calling them (800-772-1213).

A change in your marital status means you should 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.

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.

If you entered into a same sex marriage this year you generally must file using a married filing separately or jointly filing status. Oh, and if you divorced this year, much of this information applies to you also. Name changes will be important.

Review all of your retirement accounts and update the beneficiary designations. Life insurance beneficiary designations should be updated as well. If you had designated your brother as the beneficiary on your life insurance policy and you should pass away without a change, he will receive the proceeds from the insurance and not your new spouse.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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