Getting married is a glorious event, certainly one of the most important in your life. That being said, the sheer joy involved can easily result in missing out on some practical issues that can pop up. This includes remembering to handle some administrative things with your taxes.
While all your friends and family know you are getting married, you dear friends at the IRS do not! You probably could not care less, but it can lead to problems. For instance, you might file taxes in the coming year under a different or modified name. This will be tagged in the IRS computer, but probably will not be updated for a year or two. As a result, the IRS might not acknowledge getting your return or might send any refund to an older address. Neither is a good thing! So, what should you do?
The first step is not to contact the IRS. Odd, eh? The agency you need to contact is the Social Security Administration. The IRS tracks individuals through social security numbers, so getting your information updated with the Administration using form SS-5 is the way to go. Many people don’t do this and a huge mess can result as social security withholdings in paychecks are applied to the wrong account and so on. The form is incredibly easy to fill out, so just take the 5 minutes to do it.
The second step is to notify the IRS of any address change. This should also be done with your employer. Regardless, sending direct notice to the IRS will help prevent any major problems with notices and refund checks going to old addresses.
The third and final step actually is not mandatory, but it should be undertaken. As a married couple, you are now probably a two income family. Why does this matter? Well, your combined income may bump you up into a higher tax bracket. This can result in a bad surprise when you hit the end of the year and find out you owe a sizeable chunk of change to the IRS and probably your state tax agency as well. Take the time to sit down and go through your new financial situation. If necessary, adjust your withholdings so that you avoid owing money when the 15th comes around.
Taxes are the last thing newlyweds want to deal with. That is certainly understandable. Enjoy your wedding and honeymoon. Just make sure you take a few minutes to deal with these issues when you get back so you don’t run into problems down the line.
Richard A. Chapo is with BusinessTaxRecovery.com
- get help with back taxes
and dealing with the IRS.