Marrying Your Taxes

Many Newlyweds have no idea how taxes may change after they tie the knot. When a couple of people become, well, a couple, it’s important to make some adjustments so that more of your money stays where it belongs: with the two of you.

The first thing to consider is how to file. In most circumstances, you should select the ‘filing jointly’ check box, but not always. If one of you has a substantial amount of uninsured medical or miscellaneous expenses that may draw a larger deduction, file separately. This will also result in one spouse not liable for the other’s outstanding financial obligations.

If you used to file by paper, you should really consider moving to the computer age with electronic filing. Getting your refund can be directly deposited into your account in almost half the time as paper filing. Also, sending in the old time hard documents means somebody on the other end has to key the information into the system anyway. Who do you trust to get it accurate?

When it comes to deductions, there are two ways to go: standard or itemized. Many newlyweds have always taken the standard deduction before citing their nuptial vows and this may be a new experience for you if you’ve never had to consider which is best. Simply because you never had much to itemize doesn’t mean your significant other won’t. But remember, if you choose to file separately and one of you chooses to itemize, the other must do so as well.

Save a copy of your tax returns in an accessible format forever. While supporting documents can generally be tossed after the statute of limitations for being audited expires (three years), you’ll need to refer to your old returns now and then in the future.

Source: The Nest