Recently married? Here’s what to do to get ready for next year’s tax return.

Recently married? Here’s what to do to get ready for next year's tax return.

Did your Name Change?

The first thing is to make sure you tell the Social Security Administration if you changed your name. If you are legally changing your name, you need to apply for a replacement Social Security card reflecting your new name. If you’re working, also tell your employer. That way, Social Security can keep track of your earnings history as you go about living your wonderful new life.

To change your name on your card, you must show the Social Security Administration documents proving your legal name change and identity. If you are a U.S. citizen, you also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in the Social Security database. You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. Social Security will not accept photocopies or notarized copies.

  • Marriage document;
  • Divorce decree;
  • Certificate of Naturalization showing a new name; or
  • Court order for a name change.

To prove your identity, you must show an unexpired document showing your name, identifying information, and photograph, such as one of the following:

  • U.S. driver’s license;
  • State-issued nondriver’s identification card; or
  • U.S. passport.

If you don’t have one of those documents available, Social Security may be able to accept your:

  • Employer identification card;
  • School identification card;
  • Health insurance card; or
  • U.S. military identification card.

To prove your U.S. citizenship, you must show one of the following documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate;
  • U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
  • U.S. passport (unexpired);
  • Certificate of Naturalization; or
  • Certificate of Citizenship.

Fill out the SS-5 and Take to local Social Security Office

Remember that Social Security requires original documents. To begin the process, you need to download and fill out the form SS-5 and follow the instructions to ensure your Social Security card is delivered in a timely manner. Security will allow you to mail your original documents, but I would recommend you take them into your local Social Security office since the documents could get lost in the mail.  Click this link to locate your local field office.

Your Tax Filing Status Will Change

Marriage also means a change in your tax filing status. Most likely you previously filed your tax return as Single or Head of Household, if one spouse had a child. Now the filing status on your tax return will be Married Filing Joint. The only other possible status is Married Filing Separate, which usually is less advantageous since most couples filing separately owe more taxes.

Update Your Employer’s Records

With an updated Social Security card, the next step is to update your employer’s records with any name and address changes.

Because your filing status changes, you should review the amount of taxes being withheld by both spouses’ employers. Your Tax Return Preparer can help you to choose the best filing status and prepare new W-4 to adjust your tax withholding. To do it yourself, visit to use the IRS W-4 Calculator and Interactive Tax Assistant.

Update the Health Insurance Marketplace

If either or both spouses purchased health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they should recalculate their income and make sure that the advance premium tax credit amount (if being received) is correct. Certain changes to household, income or family size may affect the amount of the premium tax credit. This can affect a tax refund or the amount of tax owed. If your advance premium tax credit is too high, the amount of excess payments will be calculated on your tax return, which may cause you to have to make a tax payment when your tax return is filed.

Taxpayers should also notify the Marketplace when they move out of the area covered by their current Marketplace plan.

Finally, it is a good idea to tell the address if either spouse has changed addresses. Check out this blog entry: How Do I Tell the IRS That I Have A New Address

If you need help making any of these changes or want someone to take care of your taxes for you this year please don’t hesitate to contact me today!