Scott Gottlieb, CPA

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September 2002

Editor: Scott Gottlieb, CPA
Assistant editor: Susan A. Maffetone, CPA

Newly Wed, Newly Married Tax Tips

With all the challenges that a newly married couple face, tax issues are not usually thought of. But it's a good idea for the soon-to-be married and just married to review their changing tax status.

You should think about your change of name and change of address. You also need to think about choosing your filling status.
A person’s marital status on December 31 determines whether the person is considered married for that year. Tax laws allow married couples to choose to file their federal income tax return either jointly or separately in any given year. Choosing the right filing status can help save money.
– A joint return (Married Filing Jointly) allows spouses to combine their income and to deduct combined deductions and expenses on a single tax return. Both spouses must sign the return and both are held responsible for the contents.
– With separate returns (Married Filing Separately), each spouse signs, files and is responsible for his or her own tax return. Each is taxed on his or her own income, and can take only his or her
individual deductions and credits. If one spouse itemizes deductions, the other must also.
Figuring the tax both ways can determine which filing status will result in the lowest tax – usually, it’s filing jointly.

Newly married taxpayers may find that they now have enough deductions to itemize on their tax returns. Deductions for money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, contributions, casualty losses and certain miscellaneous costs can reduce federal taxes. Form 1040, which is used to report all types of income, deductions and credits, is the one to use if itemizing. Forms 1040EZ and 1040A do not allow such itemization.

If a taxpayer changes his or her last name upon marrying they should contact the Social Security Administration and update their Social Security card so the number matches the new name.

If your confused on what course is the right way for you, please feel free to contact me.






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