Being united in wedded bliss brings a myriad of changes and that extends to your federal income tax return. If you were married by Dec. 31 of the current year, the IRS considers you married for the entire year. The following are some things you need to know, do and be aware of before filing your taxes.
Name Change and Address
You need to ensure that your Social Security card reflects your name change or your return could be rejected and a name change can take weeks to process. Don’t forget to report any change of address to your employer to ensure your address is correct on your W-2 and it arrives in a timely manner. You’ll also need to change your address with the Postal Service.
As a married couple, you’re eligible to file jointly and take the standard deduction instead of itemizing. You can choose not to file jointly, but the deduction will be less.
Saving for Retirement
If you or your spouse works while the other stays at home to care for children, and you file a joint return, the working spouse can contribute to the other’s IRA up to a specified amount.
Selling a Home
You may be able to retain more of your profit if you sell a home. Part of the amount may be tax free. To qualify, it must have been your primary residence for 2 of the last 5 years, but the years don’t have to be consecutive.
A Word of Warning
If your spouse has questionable ethics and you can’t trust them to be honest, don’t file a joint return. Filing a joint return makes you equally responsible for any lies, omissions or misrepresentations. Other reasons to file separately is if your spouse has defaulted on a student loan, is in arrears on child support, or owes back taxes. Filing jointly means the IRS can take any refund to which you’re entitled.
At Peavy and Associates PC our mission is to assist you with all your tax preparations, payroll and accounting needs. We provide our clients with professional, personalized accounting services and guidance in a wide range of financial and business needs. Give us a call today (843) 347-0849 and discover why our clients return to Peavy and Associates, PC year after year!