Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Got Married? Here are some Quick Tips to Avoid a Honeymoon Headache during Tax Season

If you have recently gotten married or plan to get married in the near future, the IRS has some tips to help you avoid stress at tax time.

1. Notify the Social Security Administration - Report any name change to the Social Security Administration, so your name and SSN will match when you file your next tax return. If a taxpayer takes their spouse’s last name or if both spouses hyphenate their last names, they may run into complications if they don’t notify the SSA. If the newlyweds file a tax return using their new last names, IRS computers would not be able to match the new name with their Social Security Number. Informing the SSA of a name change is quite simple. File a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security card at your local SSA office. The form is available on SSA’s Web site at, by calling 800-772-1213 or at local offices.

Similarly, taxpayers who adopt their spouse’s child after getting married will want to make sure the children have an SSN. Taxpayers must provide SSNs for each dependent claimed on a tax return. For adopted children without SSNs, the parents can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number – or ATIN – by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions with the IRS. The ATIN is a temporary number used in place of an SSN on the tax return. The W-7A is available on the IRS Web site,, or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

2. Notify the IRS - If you have a new address you should notify the IRS by sending Form 8822, Change of Address. You may download Form 8822 from the IRS website or order it by calling 800–TAX–FORM (800–829–3676).

3. Notify the U.S. Postal Service - You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service when you move so it can forward any IRS correspondence. This would include W-2, 1099s, and other forms you will need to complete your tax return.

4. Notify Your Employer - Report any name and address changes to your employer(s) to ensure receipt of your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement after the end of the year.

5. Check Your Withholding - If both you and your spouse work, your combined income may place you in a higher tax bracket. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator available to assist you in determining the correct amount of withholding needed for your new filing status. The IRS Withholding Calculator will even provide you with a new Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate you can print out and give it to your employer so they can withhold the correct amount from your pay.

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