If you’re getting married this year upcoming taxes are probably the last thing on your mind! Up until this point you didn’t have many tax options to consider. That however will all change once you walk down the aisle so it’s never too early to start planning for and thinking about how you will file your taxes now that you’re no longer single.
Basically one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is whether to file your taxes jointly as a married couple or separately as a married couple. Here is a little information about each of those options:
Filing jointly as a married couple
Filing a joint tax return offers a number of advantages: the married couple can file just one tax return combining their incomes and deductions and joint filers often have more favorable tax calculations compared to separate filers. But filing jointly also comes with joint responsibility for tax payments and for the accuracy of the return.
Filing separately as a married couple
Couples can opt to file two separate tax returns. This has the advantage of each person being responsible only for the accuracy of his or her own tax return and for the tax calculated on that separate return. The downside is that separate filers can sometimes incur a tax that’s larger than their tax if they filed jointly. And separate filers may also need to calculate their income and deductions using their state’s community property laws.
One more thing to consider
Should you adjust your withholding to reflect your married status? Taxes could go up (if combined you’ll be moving into a higher tax bracket) or could go down (for example together your deductions may enable you to itemize). Taxes can also go up or down depending on which filing status you decide upon.
At Lindemeyer CPA we look at both options for each married couple so our clients know which options saves the most tax.