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Posted: 4/16/2006 9:00:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 9:08:34 AM EDT by TacticalStrat]
I am about to get married and I'm wondering how it will affect my income taxes? My wife-to-be makes maybe $30K, and I have a pretty good job making many times that. If I filed "married filing jointly", will that cut my income taxes, or will it just put her $30K in the same income tax bracket as what I'm in? What's the best way to handle it as far as filing and how will it affect the tax bracket on my personal income?

Note (edit): No kids and no plans to have any.


Also, According to IRS law when does the date I get married allow (or force) me to claim "married" or "married filing sperately" on a tax return for the 2006 tax year?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:04:11 AM EDT
The best thing to do taxwise is not get married.  You get penalized for it in many different ways.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:04:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 9:04:43 AM EDT by Rodent]
You should be more concerned about what getting married will do to your house and salary when your lovely bride figures out that she can have them without the inconvenience of being married to you.  
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:06:12 AM EDT
Only thing I can tell ya is that  we would get back alot more if we weren't married. So in other words being married means getting screwed at tax time. That is unless you have kids.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:07:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:
You should be more concerned about what getting married will do to your house and salary when your lovely bride figures out that she can have them without the inconvenience of being married to you.  




We're getting a pre-nup. We both have alot of assets that we want to make sure remain ours in the event of a divorce.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:08:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By centralvahunter:
Only thing I can tell ya is that  we would get back alot more if we weren't married. So in other words being married means getting screwed at tax time. That is unless you have kids.




No kids and no plans to have any.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:08:50 AM EDT
Pre-nup is a great idea.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:08:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:
You should be more concerned about what getting married will do to your house and salary when your lovely bride figures out that she can have them without the inconvenience of being married to you.  



Marriage is a lot like a tornado: It starts with a lot of sucking and blowing and in the end someone loses a house.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:12:23 AM EDT
Don't listen to the naysayers. If you have multiple jobs, you might want to keep your withholding the same as now til you figure out what amount of withholding works for you. I have to claim single with zero deductions and extra taken out or I wind up paying every year, and I am married with 2 kids.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:15:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 9:16:01 AM EDT by effinNewGuy]

Originally Posted By Lexington:

Originally Posted By Rodent:
You should be more concerned about what getting married will do to your house and salary when your lovely bride figures out that she can have them without the inconvenience of being married to you.  



Marriage is a lot like a tornado: It starts with a lot of sucking and blowing and in the end someone loses a house.




I laughed out  at that one.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:18:37 AM EDT
BOHICA
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:29:21 AM EDT
The only purpose of marriage is to have children in a loving and stable environment.  Past that, it is the most overrated institution ever thought up by divorce lawyers.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:42:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Don't listen to the naysayers. If you have multiple jobs, you might want to keep your withholding the same as now til you figure out what amount of withholding works for you. I have to claim single with zero deductions and extra taken out or I wind up paying every year, and I am married with 2 kids.




I don't care about the withholdings. What I want to understand is how does it affect the total bottom-line on how much taxes total I'll owe on our gross income.

This is just an example and not our real incomes. Let's say I make $100,000 a year and my wife to be makes $30k. Let's say prior to marriage, I ended up owing 25% ($25,000) in federal income taxes on my $100,000 gross income, and my wife-to-be owed 15% ($4500) on her $30,000. That would mean total, we paid in $29,500 in taxes. If we get married, how much will that total $29,500 tax liability change? That's what I'm trying to understand.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:51:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Don't listen to the naysayers. If you have multiple jobs, you might want to keep your withholding the same as now til you figure out what amount of withholding works for you. I have to claim single with zero deductions and extra taken out or I wind up paying every year, and I am married with 2 kids.




I don't care about the withholdings. What I want to understand is how does it affect the total bottom-line on how much taxes total I'll owe on our gross income.

This is just an example and not our real incomes. Let's say I make $100,000 a year and my wife to be makes $30k. Let's say prior to marriage, I ended up owing 25% ($25,000) in federal income taxes on my $100,000 gross income, and my wife-to-be owed 15% ($4500) on her $30,000. That would mean total, we paid in $29,500 in taxes. If we get married, how much will that total $29,500 tax liability change? That's what I'm trying to understand.



She gets bumped into your bracket.  It's the same as if she made nothing and you made $130,000.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:54:22 AM EDT
Like my friend says: "If it flies, floats, or fucks, rent don't buy."
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 9:56:24 AM EDT
We got fucked in the ass by the taxman because we got married.

We're paying about $3000 or so more in taxes this year, compared to last year when we weren't married.  


Link Posted: 4/16/2006 10:18:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 10:24:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dolanp:
She gets bumped into your bracket.  It's the same as if she made nothing and you made $130,000.



In case you missed it.

Make sure she has 1/4 to 1/3 of her pay held for taxes or you'll just end up with a bill come tax time.  And it doesn't matter when you get married.  If you get married December 31 you are taxed as if you were married on January 1 of that same calender year.  Uncle Sam gets his money.  
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 10:33:41 AM EDT
Is it possible for both people to still file as single even though they are married?

Or, is that against the rules punishable by a bullet to the dog by gov agents.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:02:01 PM EDT


Why don't you just do the turbotax bit. Put all your current data in there and then see how it changes what you owe depending on what you plug in and change. It has a running total, so it should give you a rough idea of the pain you'll encounter in different scenarios.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:12:03 PM EDT
IIRC for TY 2005, a person filing single had a max deduction of $5800, and married had $16,800 without being itemized, and I think every dependant after that (kids or not) was $3200 extra to that number.

So if the gubmint was due $16000 of your cash in taxes, and you filed married, you'd get it all back. In theory of course.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:13:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NevadaARshooter:
Is it possible for both people to still file as single even though they are married?

Or, is that against the rules punishable by a bullet to the dog by gov agents.



They can withhold taxes on their W4 under the "Married, but withhold at the higher Single rate", but when it comes to filed, you are married, no matter what.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:34:36 PM EDT
If your incomes are roughly the same, you will likely pay higher taxes.  But if your incomes are very different, you may end up paying less taxes.  

Here are some quick numbers from an online tax estimator using your figures and assuming only regular wages:

Filing Singly:


           Your taxes on $100,000:   $ 19,966
 + Your fiance's taxes on $30,000:   $  2,855
----------------------------------------------
 = TOTAL                             $ 22,821


Jointly Filing as Married Couple:

       Combined taxes on $130,000:   $ 21,390

As you see, despite what some claim, there isn't always a marriage penalty.  In this example you would save $1431 by filing as a married couple.

Of course, your exact circumstances may vary.  Enter as much information as possible, including exemptions and itemized deductions, to get a better picture.

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:37:44 PM EDT
Short answer
if you both work, it's worse, you pay more for the same amount of money if one single person
if only one works, it's better, you pay less


Getting married (to the right person I suppose) is great
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:48:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 1:09:43 PM EDT by JFP]

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Don't listen to the naysayers. If you have multiple jobs, you might want to keep your withholding the same as now til you figure out what amount of withholding works for you. I have to claim single with zero deductions and extra taken out or I wind up paying every year, and I am married with 2 kids.


 _____________                                                                        
I'm married and have two childern. Last year I had zero taxes withheld for two months the rest of the year I claimed single/no dependents and I got back over $5K
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 12:54:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zrxc77:
If your incomes are roughly the same, you will likely pay higher taxes.  But if your incomes are very different, you may end up paying less taxes.  

Here are some quick numbers from an online tax estimator using your figures and assuming only regular wages:

Filing Singly:


           Your taxes on $100,000:   $ 19,966
 + Your fiance's taxes on $30,000:   $  2,855
----------------------------------------------
 = TOTAL                             $ 22,821


Jointly Filing as Married Couple:

       Combined taxes on $130,000:   $ 21,390

As you see, despite what some claim, there isn't always a marriage penalty.  In this example you would save $1431 by filing as a married couple.

Of course, your exact circumstances may vary.  Enter as much information as possible, including exemptions and itemized deductions, to get a better picture.





Someone finally got it right.  Ignore the others.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 1:12:08 PM EDT
not really a marriage penalty but a penalty for the making more money (higher tax bracket)
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 1:46:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zrxc77:
If your incomes are roughly the same, you will likely pay higher taxes.  But if your incomes are very different, you may end up paying less taxes.  

Here are some quick numbers from an online tax estimator using your figures and assuming only regular wages:

Filing Singly:


           Your taxes on $100,000:   $ 19,966
 + Your fiance's taxes on $30,000:   $  2,855
----------------------------------------------
 = TOTAL                             $ 22,821


Jointly Filing as Married Couple:

       Combined taxes on $130,000:   $ 21,390

As you see, despite what some claim, there isn't always a marriage penalty.  In this example you would save $1431 by filing as a married couple.

Of course, your exact circumstances may vary.  Enter as much information as possible, including exemptions and itemized deductions, to get a better picture.





Thanks!!! That's what I was looking for.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 1:49:27 PM EDT


Originally Posted By zrxc77:
If your incomes are roughly the same, you will likely pay higher taxes.  But if your incomes are very different, you may end up paying less taxes.  




Exactly.

It seems like (from a tax perspective), if you get married and only one of you works and makes money, or one make a lot, and the other little - then marriage actually has benefits.  The problem is when both parties have a a career and make decent money - then the penalty can be quite severe.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 1:57:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:

Originally Posted By centralvahunter:
Only thing I can tell ya is that  we would get back alot more if we weren't married. So in other words being married means getting screwed at tax time. That is unless you have kids.




No kids and no plans to have any.

PLANS CHANGE when "love" is involved. I think thay call it the MARRIAGE TAX penealty 4 some reason dont you?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 2:00:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zrxc77:
If your incomes are roughly the same, you will likely pay higher taxes.  But if your incomes are very different, you may end up paying less taxes.  

Here are some quick numbers from an online tax estimator using your figures and assuming only regular wages:

Filing Singly:


           Your taxes on $100,000:   $ 19,966
 + Your fiance's taxes on $30,000:   $  2,855
----------------------------------------------
 = TOTAL                             $ 22,821


Jointly Filing as Married Couple:

       Combined taxes on $130,000:   $ 21,390

As you see, despite what some claim, there isn't always a marriage penalty.  In this example you would save $1431 by filing as a married couple.

Of course, your exact circumstances may vary.  Enter as much information as possible, including exemptions and itemized deductions, to get a better picture.




Can you do my taxes next year?

I already have an accountant, but can you elaborate on why, say, $50,000 + $50,000 is taxed differently than, say, $15,000 + $85,000?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 2:31:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TacticalStrat:
I am about to get married and I'm wondering how it will affect my income taxes?  . . .



I believe that statistically, married men earn quite a bit more over their lifetime than single or divorced men. So, yes, your taxes will go up as your income increases . . . that's a good thing.

Doesn't matter, though because a good wife is priceless.

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:49:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JFP:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Don't listen to the naysayers. If you have multiple jobs, you might want to keep your withholding the same as now til you figure out what amount of withholding works for you. I have to claim single with zero deductions and extra taken out or I wind up paying every year, and I am married with 2 kids.


 _____________                                                                        
I'm married and have two childern. Last year I had zero taxes withheld for two months the rest of the year I claimed single/no dependents and I got back over $5K


Thats very nice. The problem is that with multiple jobs, they all withhold at a lower rate as if they were your only job. Add them all up though and it bumps you up to a higher bracket that forces you to pay, especially at the state level. This is the first year in years I am getting either a Federal OR a state refund, and the difference in amounts is striking, given that I am claiming the same withholding for both the state and Feds.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 8:21:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NevadaARshooter:
Is it possible for both people to still file as single even though they are married?

Or, is that against the rules punishable by a bullet to the dog by gov agents.


Yes, you can. You can also file for 0 exemptions even if you will be claiming 2 on your income tax return.

Some people file married and 9 even though they are single and have 0 exemptions. They get more up front but end up paying an entire year's worth of income tax in one shot.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 4:17:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lexington:

Originally Posted By Rodent:
You should be more concerned about what getting married will do to your house and salary when your lovely bride figures out that she can have them without the inconvenience of being married to you.  



Marriage is a lot like a tornado: It starts with a lot of sucking and blowing and in the end someone loses a house.



Oh that's sig material there.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 4:48:48 AM EDT


We ran into a problem this year. My wife had a part time job in addition to her primary. She made $10K and only $500 was withdrawn for federal taxes. We found out  mid-year that we were short. I though it was a problem on my end, so I withheld an additional $200 a month.  At tax time, we found out that because she only made $10 K, taxes were withheld at a different rate. This $10 K was then added on to our full time salries and we were taxed a higher rate on it. Her part time job ate our return up. Needless to say, she quit. It just wasn't worth it.
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 5:20:55 AM EDT
Why does 50+50 not equal 85+15?  Our tax system has graduated brackets, with the tax rate increasing as your income increases.  In the past, the brackets for married couples were not twice as large as the brackets for individuals (this is still the case, but not nearly as much as it used to be.  The 10% and 15% married brackets are twice the single, but the higer brackets are not).

If both individuals are in the upper end of the 28% bracket (or higher), there will probably be a marrage penalty.  If one of the individuals was not fully utilizing the the lower brackets, then there will be an advantage since the married couple will be able to tax more of their income at the lower bracket.

There are a lot of other considerations as well, such as being able to use credits, and credit phase outs.  My married tax was roughly $7K less than our combined seperate taxes.  That was one of the largest marrage benifits I have seen though.

Once you are married (before the last day of the year), you must either file married or married filing seperate (which is almost always the very worse tax brackets).
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