Tax Advice for Newlyweds
(SPM Wire) If you are among the approximate 2.2 million U.S. couples who got hitched this year, you probably will have tax questions come January 2009.
Here’s some advice for newlyweds from the experts at tax preparation service Jackson Hewitt:
If you got married any time in 2008, you are considered to have been married for the entire year for tax purposes. Even couples who wed on December 31, 2008 are considered married for the full 2008 tax year.
Which filing status should you choose? “Newlyweds should remember that they have the choice of filing jointly or separately, and that they can decide which status to choose each year based on their situation,” explains Mark Steber, vice president, Tax Resources, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. “Generally speaking, using the ‘married filing jointly’ status will offer the lowest tax liability and the highest standard deduction. However, ‘married filing separately’ can also be advantageous, especially if one of the filers has large deductions or expenses that may provide a better tax benefit when taken individually on a separate return.”
Certain credits, including the Child and Dependent Care Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Hope or the Lifetime Learning Credit, or the student loan interest deduction, are not available under the “married filing separately” status.
Make sure all paperwork reflects your legal name. Names listed with the Social Security Administration must match all forms of identification and documents from employers, loan holders, and investment accounts.
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