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Getting Married and Related Tax Issues

Article Highlights:

  • SSA Name Change 
  • IRS Address Change 
  • Postal Service Address Change 
  • Tax Withholding 
  • Tax Filing Status 
  • Marrying A Non-resident Alien 
  • Joint and Several Liability 
  • Beware of Tax Scams 
Most weddings planned for 2020 were delayed because of COVID, causing a big upswing in the number of weddings in 2021. Although tax issues are the furthest thing from their minds during this big life-changing event, newlyweds should know how tying the knot can affect their tax situation. There are actions they need to take to avoid problems and unfortunate tax surprises. If you are newly married, here’s a checklist of “to do’s” to help you:
  • SSA Name Change - When a name changes through marriage, it is important to report that change to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The name on a person’s tax return must match what is on file at the SSA. If it doesn’t, it could delay any tax refund. To update information, you should file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The instructions for completing and filing the form are included with the form.

    You’ll also need to tell your employer of your name change so that your name and Social Security number on the W-2 form your employer issues will match the SSA’s records. This is important so that your earnings during the year and the payroll taxes you’ve had withheld are properly credited to your SSA account. 

  • IRS Address Change - If marriage means a change of address, the IRS and U.S. Postal Service need to know. It is very important that the IRS have your correct address in case you are sent a notice about an already filed tax return. Responding to an IRS notice is essential to avoid compounding the problem that created the IRS inquiry in the first place. You don’t want to miss making a timely response because you didn’t notify them of an address change. An address change cannot be an excuse for any consequences of not responding.

    To change your address with the IRS file Form 8822, Change of Address. Instructions on how and where to file are included with the form. If your state also has an income tax, check the website of the state’s tax department for a change of address form. Because the IRS is so backed up due to COVID, it might even be appropriate to pay the post office a little extra for their proof of mailing service just in case you should need it. 

  • Postal Service Address Change – It will take time for IRS to make the address change after the Form 8822 is filed, so make sure the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is notified to forward mail to your new address by going online at USPS.com or go to their local post office. Also, notify your employer(s), financial firms, retirement payers, etc., of your new address. 

  • Tax Withholding – After getting married, couples should consider changing their withholding. Newly married couples must give their employers a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance within 10 days. If you and your spouses both work, you may move into a higher tax bracket or be affected by the additional Medicare tax. You can use the Tax Withholding Estimator to help complete a new Form W-4. Additional information related to completing W-4s and estimated tax payments are available in IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. 

  • Tax Filing Status - Married people can choose to file their federal income taxes jointly (on one tax form) or separately (each filing their own tax form) each year. While married filing jointly is generally the most beneficial way, it’s best to figure the tax both ways to find out which is better. Remember, if a couple is married as of December 31, the law says they’re married for the whole year for tax purposes.

    If your new spouse is a non-resident alien, the law requires you to file a married separate return unless you and your alien spouse both elect to file a joint U.S. return reporting world-wide income. This decision can have a profound impact on your tax liability, and you should discuss the ramifications with this office before deciding. 

  • Some of the more relevant negative issues related to filing separately are outlined in the following chart: 

Joint and Several Liability – There is always the possibility that one party to the marriage may owe back taxes, child support, or alimony from a prior marriage. If the newlyweds subsequently file a joint return each of them is legally responsible for the entire liability. Thus, any joint tax refund can be seized to satisfy those liabilities and is something that should be considered when making the filing status decision. 

Beware of Tax Scams - All taxpayers should be aware of and avoid tax scams. The IRS will never initiate contact using email, phone calls, social media, or text messages. First contact generally comes in the mail.

If you need assistance completing your new W-4s, adjusting estimated tax payments, determining which filing status is best for you or other tax issues related to getting married, please give this office a call.

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Get to Know Prestige Accounting Services Group (previously Prestige Wealth Accounting Group)

Offices in Flemington, NJ and Califon, NJ

Our Mission: At Prestige Accounting Services Group (previously Prestige Wealth Accounting Group), we are on a mission to redefine the tax experience for individuals and small businesses. With a focus on personalized service, strategic planning, and expert guidance, we aim to empower our clients to succeed financially with confidence and ease.

Expertise in Action: With a wealth of experience and a team of dedicated professionals, we specialize in individual and small business tax preparation. While we excel in all areas of taxation, our passion lies in serving the unique needs of small business owners in New Jersey. We understand that small business taxation requires specialized knowledge and attention to detail, which is why we go above and beyond to ensure our clients receive the guidance and support they deserve.

Tailored Solutions for Every Client: Whether you're a high-net-worth individual seeking comprehensive tax planning or a small business owner in need of accounting and bookkeeping assistance, we have the expertise to meet your needs. Our team takes the time to understand your specific situation and develop customized solutions that align with your goals and objectives.

Why Choose Us?: What sets us apart from other New Jersey tax firms is our commitment to excellence and innovation in the field of taxation. We don't just prepare tax returns; we provide strategic insights, proactive planning, and actionable advice to help our clients achieve their financial goals. With a team of two CPAs, an EA, and an ERO, we have the expertise and resources to deliver exceptional service and results.

Your Success is Our Priority: At Prestige Accounting Services Group (previously Prestige Wealth Accounting Group), we measure our success by the success of our clients. We are dedicated to building long-lasting relationships, providing unparalleled service, and helping our clients thrive in today's ever-changing tax landscape.

We can't wait for you to experience the Prestige Accounting Services Group (previously Prestige Wealth Accounting Group) difference.

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