Post # 1
If both you and your spouse are employed, consider taking the time NOW to change your W-4 and adjusting your withholding tax as necessary. You can use the IRS’s tool to estimate what you’ll owe next year:
WHY is this important? Because even though you may not be getting married until 12/12/12, the IRS considers that you and your new spouse will have been married the ENTIRE year.
For FH and I, this means a huge tax hit, because we both make about the same money. (For couples with significantly different salary amounts, you won’t get hit as hard – and you may even benefit!) So at the beginning of the year, we went ahead and adjusted our W-4s and had additional tax taken out each week.
If we had waited until when we get married to figure out how much to withhold, it would mean that for the rest of the year a huge chunk of our paychecks would be gone.
No matter which route you go, do make sure you figure out the withholding difference by the end of the year so you don’t get stuck oweing interest on the outstanding taxes.
Post # 3
Very good point! I am a CPA and my husband and I both changed our W-4’s in January 2011 even though we didn’t get married untill August 2011.
Post # 4
Do they charge more tax becuase you are married? I claim 0 on my W4 right now and they take a lot out in taxes as it is for both me and my fiance. We get A LOT back at tax time which is good but that needs to change because I need the money monthly instead of at the end of the year. I was thinking of having them take out less monthly so I can afford living expenses. The weird thing is I make a lot less than my fiance and they take a little more out of my checks then his. I think my boss (small business) is doing something wrong with my checks because everyone is thinking they take out too much tax. Before when I was claiming 1 on the W4 they didn’t take out enough and I ended up owing that year.
Post # 5
I posted about this before as well – in fact we picked 4/14 as our wedding date in honor of uncle Sam and the huge hunk of our money he is going to get because Fiance and I make the same salary and I will lose my head of household filing status to boot
Very sound advice
Post # 6
This is all way over my head unfortunately. I feel like I understand it but I’m not 100% certain.
Fiance and I will be getting married in September. We make almost the exact same salary, and (if I remember correctly) have 0 withholdings. So, theoretically, because we have 0 withholdings atm, we should have a problem with having to pay in next year (right now we both sit in the 15% bracket and that’s what it will be when we file jointly as well, if that helps at all).
Thanks for the knowledge bees!
Post # 7
@JustMarried51912: There is a so called “marriage penalty”. you can just google it and read about it. its hard to know what your exact situation will be, depends on a lot of things. i would say to try and use the IRS tax calculator below to help you fill out your W-4 properly. but – yes, the idea is to have more take home pay vs. getting a large refund on 4/15.
Here is the tax calculator – http://www.irs.gov/individuals/page/0,,id=14806,00.html
Post # 8
@lunathea: you cannot have -0- withholdings. the IRS is at least withholding something. you might have -0- allowances, but that is something different. try that calculator i posted above. that should help you figure out your situation.
Post # 9
So how does all this work if only one of you is employed at the moment (fiance) but I will be graduating and getting a job in may? we are getting married in october…
Post # 10
@JustMarried51912: Use the calculator – the difference in your take home varies depending upon your salary and your FH’s.
@cwat12: You likely won’t lose much money, so you probably will get a refund next year. I wouldn’t worry about it until the fall.
Post # 11
Anyone know if this applies to Canadian brides? It really sounds like a different language to me.
Post # 12
Hmmmm…. I’m not so great with money/math/taxes but if I’d changed my withholdings to Married in January of last year, we would have ended up owing the IRS now. We are barely getting a refund. Am I just not grasping this concept?
Post # 13
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
Thanks for the tip!! Saving this thread to my favorites for 2013…
Post # 14
I am confused. I claim 0 so I can get a lot back and my fiance claims 1. He makes 4 times as much as I do. He owed like 4000 in 2010 and hasn’t done his taxes for 2011. We will be getting married in March 2012, should I tell him to change his W4 to claim 0 so we get a lot back??
Post # 15
Thank you for the helpful tips!
Post # 16
@macbookbee123: All of this matters based on your salary. So it’s hard to give you advice other than to use the IRS calculator (linked at the top) in order to find out what you owe. Use it as if you are calculating the tax for both of you as if you’re already married — because for tax purposes, you already are! (Not really, but by the time tax time comes next year, the IRS will have considered you to have been married the whole year.)
But my GUESS is that if you claim 0 and you owe nothing as a single person, and your fiance as a single person claims 1 and owes a whole lot, that it would even out once you claim “married.” Do the calculator to be sure!
@Mrs.Mittens: Hmm…hard to tell without salary context. My guess is you and your husband make similar salary amounts?
On your W-4s, you may need to use the “Married but use Single Rate” designation, which taxes you at the higher rate.
@mrsbruff2b: I don’t know! Should I edit the topic name?
@everyone else: A disclaimer: I’m not a CPA or tax attorney, I just like planning ahead! 🙂