Combining finances and beginning joint taxes at the start of a marriage can be confusing and stressful. There are several things you can do to relieve some of the strain, though. If you find yourself uncertain about anything, or in need of aid, don’t be afraid to contact a tax attorney and get tax help. Many newly married couples make the mistake of assuming the only people who can benefit from speaking to an IRS tax attorney are those who are already in debt, but attorneys can also help you avoid making mistakes that lead to debt.
Here are some things you can do on your own to ease the transition into joint filing:
- Make sure the names and Social Security numbers that you list on your tax return match those on both you and your spouse’s Social Security Administration records. You may have just changed your last name, and it’s important that you report the change to the SSA by filing a Form SS-5 application for a new Social Security Card.
- Report your change of name and address to your employer, so that your W-2 will match your other documents, and all of your documents will be consistent and correct.
- If you and your spouse work, check how much federal income tax is withheld and see if you need to move into a higher bracket once your incomes are combined.
- Check your itemized deductions, as they may have changed if you didn’t qualify before you were married.
- Make sure you list Married, if you were married as of December 31, since that date determines your marital status for the entire year, as far as taxes are concerned.