If you’ve got clients who are getting married this summer, they may not have taxes on their pre-nuptial checklist. But once the rice is all swept away and the thank-you notes are written it may be time to go over some items that can make their first tax season together go smoothly – sort of a good start on “happily ever after.”
Name Change – The names and Social Security Numbers on the lucky couple’s tax return have to match Social Security Administration records. So if the bride changed her name whey she tied the knot, she’ll need to report it to the SSA by filing Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. She can get the form on SSA.gov, by calling 800-772-1213 or from her local SSA office.
Change Tax Withholding – A change in marital status generally means a change is called for in the couple’s withholding setup at work, using the W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. If both spouses work, their combined incomes could move them into a higher tax bracket – or they may be affected by Additional Medicare Tax. More help can be found in Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
Changes in Health Care Circumstances – If either spouse bought health insurance through the Marketplace and received advance payments of the premium tax credit this year, it’s important they report their change in family size to their Marketplace. If their marriage meant moving out of the area covered by their Marketplace plan, they’ll need to notify the Marketplace of that as well. By reporting changes in circumstances now, as they happen, taxpayers can avoid unfortunate surprises, such as smaller refunds or even tax due, when filing season rolls back around.
Address Change – If one – or both – spouses changed addresses when they joined households, the IRS needs to know about it. Use Form 8822, Change of Address. Of course, the lucky couple should also let the Post Office know they’ve changed locations.