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If you are, my best wishes for a long, happy life together. Now for a little tax planning.

I just read a post from a newlywed and realized that not everyone knows that your marital status is determined as of December 31. Thus, if you marry any time in 2000, you will be considered married--for tax purposes--for the entire year. (I do not advise using this against your mother as an argument for living together before the ceremony. She doesn't care about the tax law.)

Anyway, this being the oughts and not the 50's, you probably both have jobs. If you do you could have an unpleasant surprise next April if your withholding is based most of the year on single rates but your tax liability is based on the married rates. If you've got a date set to marry this year, sit down NOW with W-4's and pretend that you're already married. Revise your W-4's so that the proper amount of tax will be withheld as you go along during the year. It may cost you a little in take-home pay during the year, but it won't leave you a year from now describing yourself as "screwed," which I quote from the aforementioned newlywed's post.

Phil Marti
Tax Preparer
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