Updating your status from single to married may bring about some unanticipated changes, including changes relating to your taxes. While wedding planners don’t typically use an IRS checklist, here are a few things to keep in mind when filing your first tax return as a married couple.
As with any tax issue, contact your tax professional to help you navigate your own unique situation.
Notify the Social Security Administration (SSA)
If one of you has taken on a new name, report the change to the SSA by filing Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card.
It is important that your name and Social Security Number match on your tax return. The IRS will match your information with records provided by the SSA and, if the records don’t match, any electronically filed return will be rejected and any paper filed return will be delayed until the error is corrected.
Avoid making a name change too close to tax season. While the SSA can process a name change in about two weeks, the delay in data-sharing between the SSA and the IRS can make any change near the end of the year problematic. In such situations, it may be advisable to file the tax return using your maiden name and change your name with the SSA after the return has been filed.
Form SS-5 is available on the SSA website at www.ssa.gov, by calling 800-772-1213, or by visiting a local SSA office. A copy of your marriage certificate and driver’s license or passport will be required.