Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (4) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: irasmilo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121096  
Subject: Re: Filing Status Change After Marriage Date: 8/10/2004 8:26 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I was recently married and my wife and I are getting the paperwork that follows in order. My employer told me to fill out an updated W4, noting the status change. My wife's employer says this is optional and my wife says she kept her status as single in her previous marriage.

My question is: do we need to refile our W4s (fed and state) and if it's not mandatory, what are the advantages/disadvantages of doing so? We will be filing as jointly married this year.


Updating your W-4 is not mandatory. Filing your federal tax return as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately is mandatory, but you know that already.

That said, you probably should rework your W-4s jointly to determine what the optimal withholding strategy will be for you as a married couple. Unfortunately, the W-4 worksheets only work well for a full year of withholding. Since each of you has roughly a half-year of earnings with taxes withheld at the single rate, what you really need to do is calculate your full-year tax liability, subtract the taxes already withheld and then determine how to best get the balance withheld from the future paychecks. This is not a trivial task. If either of you prepared your 2003 taxes using Turbotax or other retail software, there should be a planning module which can do the calculations for you.

Fortunately, recent tax law changes have removed most of the marriage "penalty" on couples where both spouses work, so you are less likely to find yourselves owing a lot next April than might have been the case a few years ago.

Ira
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (4) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

Disclaimer:
In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement