Taxes and Marriage

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Broadway2018
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Taxes and Marriage

Post by Broadway2018 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:26 am

My fiance and I were planning on getting married next year. We were going to go to the courthouse. I just accepted a job across the country and the pay is now double so for tax reasons we are thinking of getting married before the end of this year. Essentially, we are both separately (file as single now) in the 24% tax bracket now, but if we don't marry now, my tax bracket will go up to 35%.

Thoughts? Am I overlooking any other tax considerations? Does it matter if we marry now or in say December?

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Tamarind
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Re: Taxes and Marriage

Post by Tamarind » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:32 am

If you marry by Dec 31 of a year, you will be considered married for tax purposes for the whole year. There's no need to rush into a decision.

You can actually run a couple of draft tax returns either with pen & paper, the TaxCaster website, or your tax software if you have it, to figure out exactly what the tax impact of marrying this year would be.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Taxes and Marriage

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:37 am

This ^^^

You are the only one that can figure out the actual difference between filing jointly and separately. I'd suggest that if you paid someone to do your taxes, you buy TurboTax Deluxe CD/Download for 2018, enter in your tax info and duplicate the return. Then, simply change filing status to joint, add in your fiance's information, and see what your total tax would be. Compare that to what you each paid separately.

I'd also add, and I'll put it in bold, that getting married for financial reasons should not be on your list of reasons. However, the timing of when you get married clearly does matter, i.e. 2019 vs. 2020.

Also note that state returns likely won't change your timing decision.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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Stinky
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Re: Taxes and Marriage

Post by Stinky » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:42 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:37 am
You are the only one that can figure out the actual difference between filing jointly and separately. I'd suggest that if you paid someone to do your taxes, you buy TurboTax Deluxe CD/Download for 2018, enter in your tax info and duplicate the return. Then, simply change filing status to joint, add in your fiance's information, and see what your total tax would be. Compare that to what you each paid separately.
Excellent advice.

Once you have the actual $ difference, you can make a better informed decision about when to get married.

If there are tax savings, maybe it will pay for an upgraded honeymoon. :D
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

Topic Author
Broadway2018
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Re: Taxes and Marriage

Post by Broadway2018 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:53 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:37 am
This ^^^

You are the only one that can figure out the actual difference between filing jointly and separately. I'd suggest that if you paid someone to do your taxes, you buy TurboTax Deluxe CD/Download for 2018, enter in your tax info and duplicate the return. Then, simply change filing status to joint, add in your fiance's information, and see what your total tax would be. Compare that to what you each paid separately.

I'd also add, and I'll put it in bold, that getting married for financial reasons should not be on your list of reasons. However, the timing of when you get married clearly does matter, i.e. 2019 vs. 2020.

Also note that state returns likely won't change your timing decision.
We have been engaged for 3 years. Just have not gotten around to finalizing it as neither of us wants a wedding ceremony.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Taxes and Marriage

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:54 am

Broadway2018 wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:53 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:37 am
This ^^^

You are the only one that can figure out the actual difference between filing jointly and separately. I'd suggest that if you paid someone to do your taxes, you buy TurboTax Deluxe CD/Download for 2018, enter in your tax info and duplicate the return. Then, simply change filing status to joint, add in your fiance's information, and see what your total tax would be. Compare that to what you each paid separately.

I'd also add, and I'll put it in bold, that getting married for financial reasons should not be on your list of reasons. However, the timing of when you get married clearly does matter, i.e. 2019 vs. 2020.

Also note that state returns likely won't change your timing decision.
We have been engaged for 3 years. Just have not gotten around to finalizing it as neither of us wants a wedding ceremony.
Then run the numbers. Small investment in software to figure it out.

BUT, since "neither of us wants a wedding ceremony", make sure you don't get married just to save money. That's not a reason.

We got married near the very end of December one year. My friends said "he wanted the tax savings". I just smiled. Coming up on 40 years, saved a bundle... :D
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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