You've booked your band, your florist and even reserved that matching fondue pot you've had your eye on, but don't forget to invite Uncle Sam as part of your wedding planning. While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is probably the last thing on your mind when preparing for your wedding, you can take some steps to avoid surprises at tax time. By handling these tax matters as part of your wedding planning, you will save time and possibly even money, in the process.
Change your name
The name on your tax return must be the same as your name registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are taking your spouse’s last name or hyphenating yours, notify the SSA soon after the wedding. Fill out SSA Form SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card. Obtain this form by:
- Downloading it from the SSA website.
- Calling 800-772-1213 to have it mailed to you.
- Picking it up at your local SSA office
Bring the completed form, along with official documentation of your old name and marriage, to your local SSA office.
Change your address
You can notify the IRS of an address change on your tax return, but you may avoid delays by letting the agency know as soon as you move. Do this by submitting IRS Form 8822 Change of Address or a letter containing your:
- Full name
- Old and new address
- Social Security Number
Mail the form or letter to the address to which you mailed your last tax return.
Change your filing status
Regardless of what month you actually get married, your filing status for the entire year is whatever status it is on December 31st. You and your spouse may file a joint return or married filing separate tax returns. Each option can result in a different tax liability. Calculate your tax both ways to see which filing status results in the best outcome.
Check your withholding tax rate
When you get married, consider changing the amount you have asked your employer to withhold for taxes from each paycheck. Married people often have a lower withholding rate than single ones do. You can use this W-4 Withholding Calculator to determine how much you need to have withheld. Provide your employer with a new W-4 form if you decide to make any changes.
Premium tax credit recipients
If you currently receive the Premium Tax Credit that helps you pay for health insurance obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you must notify your Marketplace if you have changes in family size or income. Your new marriage status can affect your insurance in a number of ways including:
- The Premium Tax Credit you are eligible to receive and payments owed.
- Advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit.
If you wait until tax time to inform the Marketplace of changes, you may end up owing money for the months in which the credit was overpaid. You may also learn that you were entitled to more money than you actually received.