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Congradulations on your marraige & welcome to the marriage penalty (and I am not referring to males being stupid & lazy from your wedding day forward --- we were actually that way before we got married). The marriage penalty will actually cause you and your spouse (when filing married jointly) to pay more in federal income tax than had you simply co-habitated & each were to file as single. This all presumes that both of you are working.

To answer your original question; the best way to figure this out is to find some one with Turbotax (or other computer tax package) and rerun your return as if you had been married in 1998 making any known adjustments for 1999 (pay increases, stock sales, etc) in essence modelling 1999 and your 1999 likely tax liability. Take your proforma 1999 tax liability & apportion it ratably between you & your spouse. Each of you in turn divide your share by 24 or 26 (depending on how many paychecks per year you each get). Now you know the dollar amount each of you would like to have deducted from each of your respective paychecks. Then each of you need to stop by your payroll department, see a clerk, drag out Circular E, & reverse squeeze how to fill out the W-4 so the right amount gets deducted each pay period. If you like to be safe, kick the deduction up by 5% or 10%.



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