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January 27, 2010     Sioux County Index-Reporter
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2010 Bridal Guide January 27, 2010 Page 4 Tax planning for newlyweds Marriage brings many joys and a few unexpected challenges, such as fil- ing your taxes together. By starting now, well in advance of tax season, completing your first tax return as husband and wife will go more smoothly. Here are several items for your income tax to-do list, brought to you by the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants. Update records. A woman who takes her husband's surname upon marriage should noti- fy the Social Security Administration and her employer of the change. This helps to ensure that earnings are properly reported and credited. To get a Social Security card printed with your new name, complete Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The application is avail- able on the SSA website at www.ssa.gov or by call- ing 1-800-772-1213. When your marriage involves a move, you should complete IRS Form 8822, change of address. You can find this form on the IRS website at www.irs.gov or you can request a copy by calling 1-800-829-3676. Be sure to notify the U.S. Postal Service as well. Newlyweds should also submit new W-4 forms with their employ- ers to ensure that with- holding from their pay- checks reflects their new marital status. Filing status. Whether you got married Jan. 1, Dec. 31 or anytime in between, as far as the IRS is concerned, you've been married all year and must file as a married taxpay- er. You need to consider whether filing jointly or separately is better for your personal financial situation. Filing options. Choosing the best fil- ing status is a major tax decision for newlyweds. When you file jointly, you combine your income, deductions, and credits, all on one income tax form. Generally-- but not always -- filing a joint return results in the low- est tax bill. Keep in mind that when you file a joint return, each spouse is per- sonally liable for every- thing on the return. Filing separately may be a better choice if one spouse has high medical expenses or miscellaneous itemized deductions. Since in both cases you can only deduct expenses in excess of a specific threshold (7.5 percent of adjusted gross income for medical expenses and 2 percent for miscellaneous deductions), your com- bined income on a joint return could make it more difficult to qualify. On the other hand, keep in mind that some tax credits and deductions are reduced or eliminated for married couples filing separately. For example, separate fliers can't take advantage of education tax credits or deduct student loan interest. Figuring your taxes both ways is the best way to determine which filing status results in the lowest tax bill. Tax brackets. Be pre- pared. If you're married and plan to file jointly, it's possible that you will be in a higher tax bracket based on you and your spouse's combined income. For a married couple filing jointly in 2006, the rate on taxable income between $61,300 and $123,700 is 25 percent. IRA deductions. A newly married taxpayer who was able to deduct IRA contributions as a single filer may find that he/she no longer quali- fies. If your new spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work, you may be entitled to only a partial deduction or no deduction at all. Your ability to claim a deduction is determined by your filing status, your combined adjusted gross income, and whether or not your spouse is covered by a qualified employer plan. Keep in mind that as you face new financial and tax challenges togeth- er as a married couple, a CPA can help you prepare for a lifetime of effective tax planning. mergency gown cleaning and care Always have safety pins on hand. All too often someone steps on your bridal gown or you catch your bridal gown on something, and pins will get you through the day. Be prepared for a broken bustle loop, tom strap or broken zipper. In fact, full-service bridal salons often put several safety pins into the underside of the bridal gown for just such accidents. In a pinch you can use sticky tape or even staples, but you run the risk of damaging the fabric of the wedding gown. Better to avoid pinches. Ask your on-site consultant, mom, maid of honor, favorite aunt or mistress of ceremonies to bring a handful of safety pins to the ceremony and reception. Know the fabric of your wedding gown. Your consultant at the bridal shop should be able to advise you on fiber con- tent and what to do in case of a spill. When you spill something on artificial fiber, it is much easier to get rid of the stain than if you spill something on a natural fiber such as silk. Natural fibers are hollow and absorb the spill. In either case, unless the spill is major and makes you uncomfortable, better leave the spot alone until you can get profes- sional treatment for your bridal gown. If you must do something and the stain is coffee, mud, blood, tea or some other water-soluble stain, dab the spot gently with cool water and air dry. Club soda will also work. CAUTION: Silks and rayons, particu- larly silk and rayon velvets, are water- sensitive, and you may have permanent water spots. Try camouflaging spots on your wed- ding gown with something white and rela- tively harmless such as baking soda, corn- starch or baby powder (white-out and shoe polish are tricky -- especially if the stain is not water soluble). Grease, lipstick and other cosmetics can only be dissolved by solvents such as cigarette-lighter fluid. If the solvent contains alcohol, it can also dissolve any dye that may have been used to color your wedding gown. Again, better leave the spot alone until you can get professional treat- ment for your wedding gown. MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL: No matter how much you love your gown, try to remember your family and friends share your happiness on your special day. They will be looking at you and not for spots or tears on your bridal gown! Association of Wedding Gown Specialists Tents For All Occasions! I Midwest Tent Rental l Sioux Center, la 712-722-2735 712-441-1308 personalize Continued from page 1 colored sand and sprinkle colorful sequins or tiny seashells on top. You can also add personal touches, like colored glitter or themed trinkets to the candles at each table. Favors It's also fun to add a personal touch to your favors. Your guests would be delighted to receive a gift of handmade soap commemorating the day. Or you can show your thanks with a box of chocolates, candles or bubbles, wrapped in tulle and tied loosely with curling ribbon in the same color you built your wedding theme around. Whatever style you choose for your wedding, your guests are sure to appreciate the time and thought you've put into it -- and you'll create memories for you and your family that will last a lifetime. Courtesy of ARA Content G Programs & More! 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