So your big day has come and gone, now what? You have made it through the chaos of the wedding and I am sure taxes are not on your mind, but it is important to understand how getting married can change your tax situation. A married couple should take some time to sit down with their CPA in Reno to discuss how their tax situation will change now that they are married.

Don’t Forget The Little Things

After the marriage, there is usually a move. Whether it is one part of the couple moving in with the other or the couple moving into a new place, a new home means a new address. It is important to remember to update your employer, the post office and even the IRS of your address change. You want to make sure that all of your tax information will arrive at the proper address.

Another thing that commonly happens after marriage is the changing of a last name. Whether a spouse changes their last name to the other’s or adds a hyphen between the names, it is important to remember to notify your employer, the post office, the IRS and, well, everybody. The last thing you want come tax season is confusion over who you are.

Filing Jointly

After getting married, the couple usually files their taxes jointly. By filing a joint tax return, the couple doubles the limitations and deductions that you otherwise would get if you filed two single returns. However, there are certain differences in the tax code where the “marriage penalty” comes into play.

This is a situation where filing jointly causes higher tax than you would pay if you filed two single returns, even though the taxable income is the same. This has largely been eliminated for the lower income tax brackets through 2010, but would apply once you reach a taxable income of $137,300 (in 2010) or higher. For example, assume that a married couple earned $120,000 for one spouse and $100,000 for the other, then the tax as a married couple would be $44,607.50. If they each filed single, the total tax would be $43,782.50, or $825 less than joint filing. The “penalty” increases with the amount of taxable income earned as the couple.

When In Doubt Ask For Advice

After getting married, you do not need the added stress of taxes on your plate. If you are concerned that you may have missed something or just want clarification on how you should file as a couple, you should contact a CPA in Reno. Depending on your tax situation, the CPA will be able to tell you the best way to file. The CPA in Reno will also be able to talk you through the name change and address change process. They may not be able to help you with the actual steps, but they will able to remind you of anything you may have missed.

Reno’s Best CPA,

Tim Nelson