Getting Married on Dec. 31st Counts All Year

This is less a wedding specific money saving tip and more a general personal finance tip: No matter when you get married, you’ll file as married for that year when you prepare your tax return. If you get married on December 31st, 2006, then come April 15th, 2007, you will file a return as either a Married Filed Jointly or Married Filed Separately – not as a Single. If you get married on January 1st, 2007, when you file your 2006 Tax Return, you’ll file it as a Single.

How does this affect you? Take a look at the Married Filing Jointly tax brackets, they’re considerably larger than the Single tax brackets (but less than two Single brackets put together), which means that if your combined income is in the right range, you could save in taxes by filing jointly.

For example, if between you earn $60,000 and your spouse earns $0 – you would pay $11,557.50 in taxes if you filed as a Single. If you two wed in December 31st and filed 2006 as a Married Filing Jointly, you’d only see a tax bill of $8,245 – a difference of $3,312.50.

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