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Is informing the IRS on your wedding 'honey do' list?

Summer is a busy time of year for getting married in the Twin Cities. Sometimes the special occasion has been in the planning for months. Spur of the moment celebrations are not unheard of, though. Regardless of the timing, there is one thing that is common to both.

Marriage changes things for the individuals involved in terms of their tax status and that's something that needs to be communicated to the Internal Revenue Service. Failing to take the necessary steps can lead to confusion and ultimately to unwanted IRS confrontations.

Some issues related to marriage only the couple can deal with. Such is not the case with matters involving taxes. Following are some basic tips that the IRS itself offers up to help young couples get themselves off on the right foot tax-wise.

  • Be sure new names match Social Security records. The change can be made by filing a Form SS-5 with the SSA.
  • Change your address. You might not put the IRS high on your list for notification about address change, but it should be done. There's a special form (8822) for that.
  • Know your filing status. Married within a given year means you're married for that whole year as far as taxes are concerned. Whether you file jointly or separately is up to you. Figure out the pros and cons of each method and base your decision on what you feel is best for you.
  • Revise withholding. The W-2 you get every year tells you what you made and what you had deducted. Change in marital status could mean a change in your tax bracket. That means filing a new W-4 to adjust withholding.
  • Cover your healthcare bases. The Affordable Care Act is a tax policy. If you are receiving an advance payment of a government subsidy to help pay for coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace, you have to let Healthcare.gov know about your change in marital status.

One stereotypical headache that comes with marriage is the burden of in-laws. That might pale in comparison to having to deal with the IRS if a failure to properly communicate leads to controversy.

Source: IRS.gov, "Summer Weddings Mean Tax Changes," accessed Aug. 19, 2016

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