PARSIPPANY, N.J., Feb 05, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Couples who walked down the aisle in 2009 may still be in the "Honeymoon Phase," but during this time of the year, the decision on how to file their annual tax return is an important one that couples must make. This week's "Tax Time Tip" from Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) highlights key information that recent brides and grooms should keep in mind when filing a 2009 tax return.
This Week's Tip: Over two million* couples tie the knot each year, making them eligible for a new filing status. But before filing a joint return, new couples should evaluate what would be more advantageous given their individual tax situation.
"Newlyweds can choose to file as married filing jointly or separately based on their individual situation, but they cannot file as single," explains Mark Steber, Chief Tax Officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "Usually using the 'married filing jointly' status provides the lowest tax liability and the highest standard deduction. However, if one of the filers has large deductions or expenses, the 'married filing separately' status may be more beneficial."
Steber reminds the newly-married about other tax considerations:
- The Internal Revenue Service considers a couple's marital status based on the status on the last day of the year at 11:59 p.m. This means that couples who take their vows on New Year's Eve will be considered legally married for the full tax year - even if they are only husband and wife for a short time before the ball drops.
- Couples choosing to file as "married filing separately" should know that certain credits, including the Child and Dependent Care Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Education Credits, are not available under this status. Neither are some deductions, such as those covering student loan interest, deductible IRA contributions, and student loan interest deduction.
- Being a newlywed often results in a new name. Those who have had a name change must contact the Social Security Administration about this change. Your name and social security number on your social security card must match your W-2 and picture identification.
For assistance in determining the right filing status or filing a tax return for the first time as a married couple, call 1-800-234-1040 to find a nearby Jackson Hewitt office and to make an appointment. A list of helpful consumer resources and key tax credits and deductions can also be found on the Jackson Hewitt Web site at www.jacksonhewitt.com.
About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with more than 6,000 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. Jackson Hewitt is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.
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SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.