Marriage can change your tax obligations in several ways. It is therefore necessary for you to make the necessary changes so that you don't run into any problems with the tax authorities. This article discusses some of the things which newly married ladies should pay attention to as they plan their taxes.
The Name Changes
Some ladies opt to take their husband's last name after the marriage ceremonies while others retain their maiden name. Those who decide to change their names need to do so legally and notify the social security authorities about the change. A new social security card can then be issued bearing the new name so that you file your future taxes under that new name. This will avoid any complications which can result in case you filed your taxes using a name which differs from what is on your social security card.
Your Filing Status
Make sure that you change your filing status when you file your taxes after getting married. For example, you can decide to file as a married person who is filing her taxes separately, or you can file your tax returns jointly with your spouse. This filing status is important because it can affect some of the benefits to which you are entitled. For example, the bracket of the taxable income to which you belong as a couple may impose a lower burden than that of two unmarried individuals with the same income filing their tax returns separately.
You should also adjust how much your employer withholds from your income for tax purposes based on what you think you will need to pay in taxes as a married lady. The adjustment will help you to avoid the two extremes of either receiving a large tax refund or remaining with a large sum which you owe in unpaid taxes at the end of the year.
Your Fringe Benefits
Employers usually offer several fringe benefits, such as family medical cover, to their employees. It is advisable for you to review those benefits now that you are married. For example, you can decide to convert one of your benefits (health cover, for instance) into another benefit so that you use what is provided at the place of work of your spouse.
Sit with a taxation services professional and discuss the tax implications of your new status as a married person. That discussion will enable you to take full advantage of any tax benefits which can be enjoyed once one is married.