June is one of the most popular months to get married. Why? Some point to the weather. Peak spring thunderstorm season has passed. Temperature wise, it's warm, but not hot (unless you're in Texas, but that's another post).
Ditto with humidity, meaning that June is one of the better months for an outdoor wedding.
Then there's matrimonial history.
The early Romans gave us Juno, the goddess protector of women in all aspects of life, but especially in marriage and childbearing. So a wedding in the month named for Juno was, and still is for many, considered most auspicious, notes the Old Farmers' Almanac.
And from a tax standpoint, mid-year nuptials give the new bride and groom plenty of time to take make all the IRS moves tied to their tying of the knot.
Here are 6 tax moves that newlyweds need to take care of after they finish writing their wedding gift thank-you notes.
1. Deal with dual withholding. A key post-vows tax move is adjusting your workplace withholding to account for your new joint filing status. This is particularly true where both spouses get wages. If you don't coordinate your taxes, specifically how much is taken out of each of your paychecks, then you could end up owing the Internal Revenue Service a lot at tax filing time. Even more distressing, especially as you're starting out a new life together, is that such withholding miscalculations could mean you owe Uncle Sam an underpayment penalty (and interest!), too. The IRS' online withholding calculator is a good way for taxpayers to check their withholding.
2. Make sure everyone knows your new name. After marriage, some spouses change their surnames. If either, or both of the newlyweds legally change their name post-vows, they need to report it to the Social Security Administration. The IRS matches what's on your 1040 with the SSA data every filing season. It your new name on your return doesn't match the official info, it could delay any refund.
3. Update your address. Marriage usually means at least one spouse will have a new address. In these situations, the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service need to know. Newlyweds can file Form 8822, Change of Address, to update their mailing address with the IRS. They should notify the postal service to forward their mail by going online at USPS.com or by visiting their local post office. And even if you didn't invite your boss to the wedding, he or she also needs to know about your address and/or name changes. That's the only way to ensure the Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, that your employer will send you early next year has the correct information.
4. Reassess tax-favored workplace benefits. Also stop by your workplace's benefits office to tweak your flexible spending account (FSA) contribution. Marriage is one of those major life changes that lets you make changes to this tax-favored workplace benefit outside of the open enrollment period. Just like with your now-married withholding, you need to assess how these tax-preferred medical accounts fit into your new lifestyle and where changes need to be made.
5. Review your health care options. Speaking of health care, you and your spouse need to see how, or if, your separate workplace medical plans work together. You might want to be carried on your new spouse's plan or vice versa. If you get your medical coverage through the Affordable Care Act's (aka Obamacare) Health Insurance Marketplace, aka an exchange, you definitely need to review that in light of your new marital status. You might be eligible for the premium tax credit (PTC). However, certain changes to your household, income or family size may affect the tax credit amount available to you. If you get receive advance PTC payments, you definitely need to report your life changes to your marketplace ASAP, as this can affect any tax refund or the amount of tax you owe.
6. Evaluate your filing status. Your marital status on Dec. 31 of the tax determines whether the IRS considers you married for the full year. Generally, married couples can file their federal income tax returns either jointly or separately. The IRS' interactive tax assistant can help you determine which status is best for you and your new spouse.
More June tax moves: You're not off the tax hook if you're happily single or have been in a wonderful marriage for many years. There are plenty of other June Tax Moves you can make in the next 30 or so days.
Among the moves are filing that 2018 tax return you put on extension back in April. Or calculating whether the support you give dear old dad over and above the usual Father's Day gift qualifies you to claim the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's (TCJA) new $500 tax credit for other dependents.
Those are just a couple of additional tax moves to make in this sixth month of the year. You'll find them and more just below the ticking tax extension countdown clock in the ol' blog's righthand column.
If you're about to take your vows or planning an early summer vacation or just wanting to chill for a while after graduation, I know that tax moves are not top of your to-do list. But do eventually make some time this month for at least a quick tax review.
Taking care of June Tax Moves that apply to your personal, financial and tax situation now could save you some money that you'll be able to spend on more fun throughout the rest of the year.
You also might find these items of interest:
- 4 tax-smart ways to give back on your wedding day
- Marriage penalties & bonuses remain under new tax laws
- 6 signs married couples should consider separate tax returns