Thursday, September 1, 2011

Advice for Newlyweds

Prior to getting married (a long time ago), I did some premarital tax projections and realized that our joint income tax burden as a married couple would be significantly higher than if we were to remain single. Although I was accused of stalling, after much cajoling I managed to convince my soon-to-be bride to postpone our planned Fall wedding to January, thus saving enough money that first year to pay for most of the reception.

I was quite proud of the accomplishment, arguably getting the government to pay for part of our wedding, but have always been accused of weaseling a few months to avoid having an anniversary during hunting season. (I’m shocked at the accusation!)

Well, now I feel vindicated. The IRS recognizes that some newlyweds might be distracted by other issues and not thinking enough about taxes and related matters, so they have come to the rescue by publishing “Tax Tips for Newlyweds”.

My first thought about any guide for newlyweds envisions graphic pictures from biology books and instructions on how to boil water, but this information is far more valuable. Like helpful tip #4 – Notify Your Employer! Without this government admonishment who knows how many innocent young married couples would forget to tell anyone at their job that they got married. Or Tip #2 – Notify IRS where you are living, so they can mail you stuff. And then there’s Tip #3 – Notify the post office where you are living so they can forward IRS stuff to you. One can only envision the flood of mail that will be heading the way of these newlyweds from IRS.

But my favorite one is helpful tip #7: “Choose the best filing status”. I think that’s excellent advice. Sometimes the best filing status is Single. I spoke with a client yesterday who paid a lot of money to return to Single status. And it paid for my reception in 1981.

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