How Does Marriage Affect Your Taxes?

Marriage has a variety of tax implications. While every situation is unique, there are some tax advantages to marriage that can help you save money! As a married couple, you will also have tax advantages that single filers do not. This post covers how marriage affects your taxes financially and what steps or forms you may need to take.

How Does Marriage Affect Your Taxes?

Planning to tie the knot? 

If yes! Have you considered how this may affect your tax situation?

With two incomes, not only do you increase your potential earnings and salary, but you also increase your chances of falling into a lower tax bracket and increasing your standard deduction! As a result, depending on you and your spouse's earnings, you may pay less or more taxes; it all depends, but you have a little more leeway because you can file married filing separately or married filing jointly.

You certainly have more options than simply filing, and if you have children, you and your spouse can benefit from a significant tax deduction. However, this should never be the sole reason for having children. One of the benefits of being married is having children. However, if you are single and have children, you will not notice any significant differences, but there are some opportunities.

Marriage can affect taxes in a variety of ways

Even though every situation is different, marriage can help you save money on taxes in some ways. Furthermore, as a married couple, you will benefit from tax advantages that a single person does not. Other tax changes that occur when you marry concern the paperwork that you must complete.

Some of the Tax Benefits of Getting Married:

When getting married, there are a lot of financial things to think about. You may be wondering, for your taxes, what good news there might be to go along with your wedding. "Do married people pay less tax? What kinds of tax breaks are there for people who are married?"

So, what tax benefits does marriage bring? In this section, we will talk about these pros.

Taxes On Gifts and Planning for Your Estate

Spouses can give each other as many cash or other gifts as they want without having to pay taxes on them. This rule has important effects on estate planning, so after you get married, you should review your estate plan.

A Bigger Tax Break for Giving to Charity

If you give cash, you may be able to get a tax deduction, which can help you lower your taxable income. A new rule from the CARES Act says that if you give cash to charity in 2021, you can deduct $300 above the line. Those who are married and file taxes together, on the other hand, can double that amount and deduct $600.

Options for IRA Beneficiaries

When you are named as the beneficiary of someone's IRA, the rules can get complicated, and you may have to pay taxes. Spouses, on the other hand, have a special option that may allow them to delay distributions longer and pay less tax on them if they are in a lower tax bracket at the time they are made. When you name your spouse as the beneficiary of your IRA, your spouse can treat the money as if it were their own.

- Your spouse can delay distributions from a Traditional IRA longer than others

- If it is a Roth IRA, your spouse would not need RMDs

Related: IRS: 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits to Increase in 2023

What You Need to Know About Tax Changes When You Get Married:

Even for a simple wedding, getting married comes with a list of things to do. But what happens after the wedding vows? As you get used to your new life and roles together, do not forget to think about how your taxes have changed. Read on to find out what you need to think about! 

Related: Prenups: Who Needs Them?

How to Talk About Money When You Are Married?  

Change Your Name on Your Social Security

Since your tax return is filed with your Social Security number (SSN), it is important to let the Social Security Administration (SSA) know if you change your name. Before you file your tax return, the SSA must process the change in the system and tell the IRS about it. You should not file your return until the process of changing your name is done. This will help you avoid any problems that could happen if the name on your return does not match the name on file with the SSA.

Changing Your W-4 form After Getting Married

If you get married or divorced, you may want to talk to your employer about changing your Form W-4. This is because the information you put on the form will be different than in years past.

Options for Filing Status

Once you get married, you can only use Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS) on your tax return (MFS). When a married couple files taxes together, they get the following tax breaks:

- Taxes are often lower

- Student tax benefits may be available

- Deductible student loan interest. MFS prohibits and controls student loan interest. Student loan interest deduction may be limited by combined income.

- Tax-deductible childcare fees. MFS allows child and dependent tax credits. MFS returns cannot claim the Child Care Credit

- The Earned Income Tax Credit is something you can apply for (if you qualify)

Your filing status is decided on December 31, so even if you were not married for most of the year, you cannot file as single if you are married on that date. Most married couples will get the best tax result by filing jointly, since some deductions and credits are less valuable or not available to married couples who file separate returns.

Your Tax Brackets Can Change If You Get Married

With these tax brackets, you can figure out what your highest tax rate will be. Different filing statuses have different tax brackets, so your income may not be taxed at the same rate as when you were single.

When a married couple files a joint tax return, their incomes are added together. This could put one or both of them in a higher tax bracket. Or, if one of you makes more money than the other, that person may be in a lower tax bracket. This could be a tax benefit of being married, depending on your situation.

How to Buy or Sell Your First House?

When you get married, your combined incomes might be enough to buy your first home, or you might decide to sell the homes you owned before you got married. When you own a home, you can deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage as an itemized deduction on your tax return.

When you sell a home, the amount of profit you can keep out of your income goes from $250,000 to $500,000. Be careful, though. If only one of you owned the home before you got married, the $500,000 exclusion only applies if you both lived in the home as your main home for at least two years.

Marriage Tax Penalty

When two people file a joint tax return, they pay more tax than the sum of their individual tax liabilities if they had filed as single taxpayers. This is called a marriage penalty. One reason for this is that the income tax brackets and standard deduction for a married couple filing jointly are not always the same as those for a single person filing alone.

Under current law, the marriage penalty is partially lessened because the lower income tax brackets (10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, and 32%) and the standard deduction for MFJ are exactly double that of single individuals.

To Sum Up

Tax changes after getting married can be hard to understand, which is why many people hire a tax pro to help them find tax credits and deductions they might have missed.

Talk things over with your tax advisor or financial advisor to come up with a strategy that will benefit you the most!



‍I hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to chat with you. 


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About the Author

As Managing Partner of Vincere Wealth, Josh assists clients in navigating financial challenges and making sound financial decisions. Having someone guide you in making sensible financial decisions today can have a substantial impact on your future financial wellbeing. Josh takes great pride in guiding customers through the complexities of taxes, real estate, businesses, employer stock, and international financial planning.

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