Getting Married? How Marriage Affects Taxes

At tax time, any different thresholds and credit eligibilities are dependent upon your specific relationship status. If you’re a newlywed, here’s what changes you should expect when you file your tax return.

Filing Status

Once you tie the knot before December 31st of the tax year, you file your taxes either jointly or separately as a married taxpayer.

Filing your taxes jointly can benefit you tremendously when it comes to tax savings. Generally, your eligibility for deductions and other credits increases significantly when you file together. Married filing jointly is the most common filing status for married couples.

Tax Form

Should you chose to file together, you may be eligible to file easily using the Form 1040-EZ. It’s the simplest form to file, though if you file separately, you’ll be required to use a regular Form 1040 or a Form 1040A.


Similar to deductions, exemptions reduce your taxable income. Exemptions subtract $4,000 from your income, which means those in the 10% tax bracket can save $400 in taxes.

Couples who file a joint return can claim their spouse as an exemption. Those who file separately are only able to claim their spouse’s exemption under the following conditions:

  • The spouse had zero gross income
  • The spouse is not filing a tax return
  • The spouse is not claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s return