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the name change: sometimes touchy

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marriage and taxes[Page 1 of 2]

Once you decide to marry your girlfriend (and become a groom) you'll be faced with a ton of life changes in short succession. You may be living with someone for the first time. You're likely to have a shiny, new and permanent fixture on your left hand to twist nervously. In your wife's case - she may have changed her name to yours. While every groom and bride faces marriage differently, one thing is constant for newlywed grooms and brides across the United States: the marriage will affect your taxes. Here's how.

Singledom: Your Taxes Before You Get Married

As swinging singles, brides and grooms alike file their taxes as individuals. Pretty straightforward, right? If you earned $50,000 in untaxed income, without any deductions, exemptions, or dependents, you would pay approximately $7,770 in federal income tax. Fill in a box here, fill in a box there, and get the form in on time. Grooms and brides have been doing this since their early days working at McDonald's.

The Marriage Penalty

Back when our parents were swinging singles, unmarried taxpayers got a nasty reminder of their single status come tax time. In 1969, for example, taxpayers who were unmarried had to fork over 42% more in taxes to the Feds than a married couple who earned the same income. The politicians decided to get involved and take action, and, in 1971, a "marriage tax penalty" was enacted. The marriage penalty guaranteed that unmarried taxpayers would pay no greater than 20% more in taxes than a married couple earning the same income.

Coupledom: When You Get Married

When Congress stepped in to try to level the playing field, it was not uncommon for the wife to stay at home while the husband was the sole breadwinner. Today's story is different - with women by and large out in the workforce just like their husbands. Accordingly, when you get married, you'll like file taxes on a joint basis with your spouse. That means one, single, tax return reporting all of your income as a couple. And that's a good thing, because married couples filing jointly typically owe less in taxes. That said, you can elect to file as if you were single, but at a rate that is higer than actually being unmarried for tax purposes. Accordingly, you can file as "married, filing jointly" or "married, filing separately."

Experts agree that it is overwhelmingly beneficial for married couples to file their taxes jointly. New York-based tax specialist and owner of Protax Consulting, Marc Strohl, identifies one scenario in which filing jointly can be hugely beneficial: if only one person is working and is a high net worth individual. (Lucky them!) For couples who decide that either the husband or wife will stay at home to raise the children - or for any other reason - filing jointly will ease the breadwinner's individual tax burden greatly come April. article continues...
[Page 1 of 2]

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Johnetta
Thu, Aug.25th 2011
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Real brain power on dpislay. Thanks for that answer!
Charles
Tue, Mar.22nd 2011
Rating:
The business of being married is much more complicated than just proposing and hoping everything will work out. Be aware that when you marry someone, you also inherit all their financial issues! (bad debts, poor credit score, etc). You need to consider the financial issues relating to the contractual obligations of marriage and what might happen should your marriage end in divorce. Visit www.SecondThoughtsonMarriage.com for practical advise and direction.
Purduede
Tue, Oct.6th 2009
Rating:
So my fiance and I are very recently engaged and trying to pick a date. We are both college seniors and are very seriously considering 1/1/11 as our date. Problem is I don't know if this would benefit us or hurt us. If she is considered a "dependent" of her parents for the 2011 calendar year (she's doing grad school) would that deduction be better than the out come of us setting our date as 12/31/10? What would be most beneficial? Also, her father will be making a good deal more than me in the 2011 calendar year.
Madison
Fri, Jun.5th 2009
Rating:
Wedding date is Sept. 09. with two years in college left. Of course my financial aide is calculated on 2008 single status taxes for the 2009 Fall and Spring 2010 program, the glitch is that I may not qualify for my benefits for the Fall 2010, Spring 2011 program if we get married this Sept. due to dual incomes. With that said, I'm seriously considering moving our wedding date out to Sept. 2011. This sucks.
broke in NY
Sat, Apr.4th 2009
Rating:
I just finished my 08 taxes and owe an extra 6,500 to the federal government. Why? Because my wife's relatively small income is now taxed at the highest marginal rate. For 07 we filed as singles. We have an absurd tax code.
Bride2B
Wed, Mar.25th 2009
Rating:
In "my" ideal world, a man would work and the wife would take care of the household and kids (if she so choses). If she wants to instead (primarily) pursue her career, that's her choice and she's entitled to it. If she wants to be both a career person and a wife/mother, her choice too. However, the REAL world is often that BOTH people have to work unless you are wealthy or extremely good at mirco-managing your money (and even then). My fiance makes 8.75/hour, a good month that 1400 BEFORE taxes (after it's less then 1000). That's less then 20K a year, me NOT working (not because I don't want to, but lack of jobs), is hurting us bad.
married-soldier23
Tue, Mar.17th 2009
Rating:
i would have to agree that is your un realistic ideal for a man to be the main supply of income but that is your opinion. keep it as u like be it cave man as the 50's but oh well...peace
Sure
Mon, Mar.9th 2009
Rating:
Conan Fan- just because those are your ideals doesn't mean you should push them on other people.
Conan Fan
Fri, Jan.16th 2009
Rating:
Your taxes sure will be affected once you marry. That's life with rules. You get more money back anyways if you claim properly. Marry someone wealthy because they will have an accountant so that the wife doesn't have to worry about shit like this. Men should take care of bills. Women should take care of the household and kids. If your a guy who doesn't agree with me then you don't belong with me.

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