Tax Planning is a Part of Pre-Marital Counseling

I know taxes are not high on the list of most romantic subjects, but when you and your sweetie are thinking about tying the knot you should definitely consider the tax consequences.  Be sure to add tax planning to your wedding to do list.

I have found that many taxpayers do not realize that when you get married, (no matter what date) you are now required to file a married return. I know there are tax preparers out there that will tell you otherwise but I am not one of those. The tax code says a taxpayer’s marital status on the last day of the year determines their filing status for the entire year. Therefore, whether you get married in June or December, you still have to file a married tax return for that tax year. (The same holds true if you get a divorce.) Remember your filing status for tax purposes is determined by your marital status on the last day of the year.

Other things to consider:

  • Will a joint return disqualify you from taking advantage of tax credits?
  • Will a joint return put you and your spouse into a higher tax bracket?
  • Does your soon to be spouse have outstanding liabilities such as taxes, child support or student loans?

These topics and more should be considered when selecting the date.

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Bernadette L. Harris
Forensic Accountant at By The Book Accounting
Bernadette L. Harris is a Forensic Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Expert Witness, Keynote Speaker, and #1 bestselling author who has helped hundreds of business owners put systems in place to protect their businesses and prepare for growth.

Her latest books, Business Blueprint 2.0 and Did You Hire a Fraud? can be purchased at: Shop.BernadetteHarris.com.

She speaks to audiences across the country about entrepreneurship and fraud prevention. Follow her on social media @TrustBernadette

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