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Weddings and Money

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For months, you have planned your wedding, working diligently. All of your thank you notes are written, your name is changed, and your settling into married life. Now that you are hitched, though, there are quite a few changes besides your name that you have to worry about. One of the most important things you will have to deal with is filing your taxes.

First things first, you and your new husband should sit down and discuss how you the two of you should file your taxes. You should both take into consideration the income of each member of the couple and try to figure out what may benefit you most. If you are not sure what may or may not benefit you when doing your taxes, you may want to contact an accountant or a tax advisor who could help you with all of the complications involved in doing your taxes. The accountant or tax advisor will not only advise you of the best situation for filing, he/she will also advise you on deciding which investments should be held in each partners name.

You may also want to invest in a tax program like Turbo Tax that can also help you figure out which method of filing can be the least costly for you.

The most important thing you must be aware of when filing your taxes as a couple is the marriage penalty. This part of the tax laws means most married couples pay more taxes than two single people with the same total income. When both individuals in the couple make around the same amount, the penalty is greater b/c the standard deduction is lower than it would be if they were single. (The standard deduction for a single individual is $4000, while it is $6700 for a married couple filing jointly.) There is really no way to get around this marriage penalty. Even if someone files as a married person filing separately, the government only allows you the deduction that is equal to half of the $6700.00, not the $4000.00, so it still penalizes someone for being married.

The best way to figure out what will benefit you the most when filing your taxes is to use Turbo Tax or a program like it that will allow you to file your taxes every which way to figure out which one will provide the highest return. For instance, you may have several forms of asset debt which you can claim interest, like a mortgage payment or student loan interest. In this case, you may want to itemize.

If you are doing the tax return for the year you got married, it makes sense to ask an accountant about changes you may have to make to your financial profile that come with a marriage. Most importantly, though, verify that the tax withholding in your paycheck is correct and that you are not surprised with a huge tax bill at the end of the year.

Preparing for your wedding took much energy and planning, and so will doing your married taxes. Be sure to take the same strides in planning and preparing your first tax return as a married couple, by preparing and planning, it could wind up somewhat profitable just by using all of the resources available.

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