After a summer wedding and a dream honeymoon, it's back to the real world. Along with thank you notes for the wedding gifts, there's some other paperwork you should deal with. It's smart to get your tax affairs in order before tax season is upon you.
Start with name and address changes. Notify the IRS if you've moved so your next package of tax forms will find you. If you've changed your married name, notify the Social Security Administration.
Next you might need to adjust the withholding from your paychecks at work. But first, spend a little time with your tax advisor to figure out your tax situation.
Recent tax laws largely eliminated the marriage penalty, except for upper income couples. That's the quirk in the tax law that causes a married couple to pay more tax than when they were single.
Also look at your combined deductions. Decide whether you're going to itemize or take the married standard deduction ($10,000 in 2005). Don't procrastinate. The longer you delay, the shorter the time left to adjust your withholding for the year.
Then review your joint retirement savings, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans. Is your combined income too high to allow contributions to a Roth IRA? If you both work, balance 401(k) contributions to maximize the match from your respective employers.
And finally, don't overlook estate planning. At a minimum you'll both need new wills and other documents such as living wills and health care directives. You'll probably also want to change beneficiary designations on insurance policies, IRAs, and retirement plans.
Please call our office for a consultation. We can help you start your married life on a sound financial footing.