Post # 1
So my wedding date is April 23, 2016. My fiance and I are self employed musicians, and filing taxes is rough on us, since we owe thousands of dollars at the end of each year.
We are considering getting legally married early to save some money next year when we file. Is this a good idea? I know NOTHING about marriage tax breaks and how they work… And while I’d love to save some money, it WOULD be nice to be able to really complete the whole process after our actual ceremony.
What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
Post # 2
Judging what several bees have said on here already, they said being married did nothing for their taxes, if anything a few had to pay more back. I don’t know if that was because they were filing jointly, filing as married but separately or what.
I think my husband and I will be filing jointly because one we’re joint in finances, and two I do make a good bit more than him and have a large sum of taxes taken out, so I think we’ll be good on actually receiving some money back (which will jsut go back into the pot of saving for our daughter).
Post # 3
I would definitely speak with a tax professional or CPA about your particular situation before making the decision. In the meantime, this Wikipedia article does a decent job of explaining whether you’ll be looking at a marriage penalty or a marriage bonus: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_penalty
Post # 4
We signed papers in December and got a killer break on taxes. I was working full time, my husband was in school. We got $6k back (!!!) We are having our ceremony and honeymoon this year, though.
Post # 5
If you make roughly the same amount as each other, there is no tax benefit to being married and there may even be higher taxes. Go see an accountant. If you get married before your “wedding” please be up front with your guests about it.
Post # 6
Not everybody gets a “tax break” when they get married. It’s hard to evaluate your options based on the information given. Take a look at the tax brackets. The majority of people who get tax breaks are the ones who have one high income earner and one low income earner. If you are both high income earners then you get screwed. If you are both low income earners and you still fall into the same tax bracket as you would married versus single then you will still owe the same amount of taxes… lol, or you could owe more.
Speak to a tax professional.
Post # 7
If you are owing thousands of dollars at the end of the year, you need to adjust your withholdings, unless you prefer to pay the penalty that goes with it.
Post # 8
No tax break unless one of you makes a lot more than the other and the bee with a husband in school probably got a big tuition credit.
Post # 9
I’m not sure how getting married now as opposed to later would change your taxes for next year, as it would all still be in 2015. Isn’t it done year by year?
Post # 10
Hey! I love personal finance stuff. Here are my questions (I love helping people with this stuff):
1. Have you both already fully funded IRA’s for the year? If not, do this. It will help big time.
2. Are you both writing off portions of your rent/mortgage as home office expenses? If not, you should. It will save lots of moolah.
3. Do you have other tax sheltered accounts? In general, tax sheltered accounts are as good a way to save money on taxes as any.
4. Will your combined income push you into a higher tax bracket? Depending on what you each make, it might actually be better to file separately.
I’m a freelance writer so I get the insane tax process.
Post # 11
“I know NOTHING about marriage tax breaks and how they work…”
Before taking this action, I’d suggest you get a good handle on what the concrete benfeits will be to you. It’s actually not THAT hard to wrap your mind around. Some couples benfit financially from marriage, for some it’s a financial detriment over single status, and for many it has minimal impact. You can figure out what camp you are in by taking a look at the IRS tax tables, or by runnnig fictional scenarios in TurboTax or similar software (get the data but stop short of hitting “submit”).
I personally do not belive that you need an CPA to help you figure this out, but I also have a hobby-level interest in personal finance, so maybe I’m biased.
Some people might have an issue with you getting legally married before your wedding. To that I say – it’s your own business. The fact of the matter is that the government has tied important legal benefits to marriage and there are many people out there who decide to sign the paperwork for those benefits before they have the ceremony which they consider to be culturally or religiously signifigant. I did the ceremony 2 months before my big wedding due to immigration needs. Wasn’t a big deal.
Post # 12
I suggest you go talk to a reputable and recommended CPA before you think getting married will automatically help. I work at the IRS. Also, please don’t follow PPs advice about a bunch of write-offs BC we will audit you in a heartbeat and you may owe plus interest and penalties. Why do you owe so much at the end of the Year? You should be making proper estimated tax payments throughout the year as you receive gigs (income). Getting married didn’t help me tax wise at all….
again, I suggest you speak to an accountant with both of you present and go over everything.
Post # 13
We owed more money in taxes once we married. And it sounds like your problem is improper withholdings, which won’t be helped by filing jointly. Go see an accountant.
Post # 14
Pay estimated taxes four times a year, that are based on your income for the time period, and you won’t owe so much, at the end of the year.
Post # 15
I appreciate everyone’s replies. We looked into it and it looks like it would not save us much, if anything, as some of you have stated. Sorry for the likely over-asked question.