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Cassafrass1989
Returning Member

I got married this past June (2020) and forgot to update my w-4 through my job as married. I paid for my turbo tax help before realizing. Is this ok?

I got married this past June (2020) and forgot to update my w-4 through my job as married. Its currently still set as single. I just filed my taxes online on Sunday and paid for it then I realized I filed as single and not "married but filing separately". Is this ok? Is there anything additional I should do?  Can I redo my taxes? Would it make a difference if my w4 says single but I file as married? I never changed my last name yet because of social security offices being closed due to Covid. And my husband hasn't done his taxes yet so we don't know what we need to do.

 

Any information is appreciated.

Thank you!

3 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

I got married this past June (2020) and forgot to update my w-4 through my job as married. I paid for my turbo tax help before realizing. Is this ok?

Your W-4 does not dictate how you have to file your tax return.   The W-4 just tells the employer how much tax you want the employer to withhold from your paychecks.   It does not even go to the IRS--it only goes to the employer.  When you file your tax return just enter your W-2 exactly as it appears.  If you have not changed your name with Social Security then use the name on your tax return that matches your current Social Security card---that will be fine---many "brides" still use their maiden names these days even after marriage.

 

You and your new spouse have a choice--file a joint return or file married filing separately for 2020.

 

 

If you were legally married at the end of 2020 your filing choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.

Married Filing Jointly is usually better, even if one spouse had little or no income. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse will get the married filing jointly standard deduction of $24,800 (+$1300 for each spouse 65 or older)  You are eligible for more credits including education credits, earned income credit, child and dependent care credit, and a larger income limit to receive the child tax credit. 

 

If you choose to file married filing separately, both spouses have to file the same way—either you both itemize or you both use standard deduction. Your tax rate will be higher than on a joint return. Some of the special rules for filing separately include: you cannot get earned income credit, education credits, adoption credits, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Your limit for SALT (state and local taxes and sales tax) will be only $5000 per spouse. In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit. The amount you can contribute to a retirement account will be affected. If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income. ( Community property states:  AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI)

 If  you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.

 

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-married-filing-jointly-vs-married-filing-separately

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901162-married-filing-separately-in-community-property-states

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-separ...

 

 

Best Wishes!

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Cassafrass1989
Returning Member

I got married this past June (2020) and forgot to update my w-4 through my job as married. I paid for my turbo tax help before realizing. Is this ok?

Thanks but my issue is that I already did my taxes as single and paid for the deluxe through turbo tax. Do I need to change it? Idk what I need to do so I don't get in trouble..

 

I'm also worried about the w4 not matching single vs married. Wouldn't that raise red flags with the IRS?

HelenC12
Employee Tax Expert

I got married this past June (2020) and forgot to update my w-4 through my job as married. I paid for my turbo tax help before realizing. Is this ok?

Yes, if you filed a tax return with a filing status of "Single", you'll need to amend your income tax return. If you are legally married as of 12/31/2020, your filing status may be one of the following: 

1) Married Filing Jointly,

2) Married Filing Separately,

3) If you qualify, Head of Household.

 

To amend you 2020 income tax return, click here.

 

 

The IRS does not match your W-4 versus your income tax return. The purpose of the W-4 is to inform your employer of how much income taxes to withhold. If you listed Single on your W-4, all that means your employer will generally withhold more taxes than had you listed Married.

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