Tax tips before you plan your wedding
Planning a wedding takes a huge amount of effort. But as much as you may not want to add one more thing to your to-do list, you really need to get a handle on how getting married will affect your relationship with Uncle Sam and the IRS.
In many cases, getting hitched can mean big changes in your tax situation, and the sooner you start planning, the more likely it is you'll avoid some huge pitfalls that snare many newlyweds.
Will You Owe More or Less?
The first question you have to figure out is whether being married will boost or cut your tax bill. In the past, tax brackets created a marriage penalty for most two-income couples, but changes to the tax laws eliminated that penalty for lower-bracket taxpayers. On the other hand, families with a single breadwinner could enjoy a marriage bonus that lets you take advantage of lower brackets for more of your income.
Once you figure out whether you'll owe more or less, the next step is changing your tax withholding from your paycheck to reflect your new tax bill. Because the IRS treats you as married for the whole year regardless of whether your wedding is in January, June, or December, you'll want to make those adjustments sooner rather than later. In fact, doing so before you get married may be the best way to avoid any penalties if your taxes will go up. To change your withholding, talk to your HR department at work to get a new Form W-4 filled out.
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- Tax tips before you plan your wedding