A:

You are generally considered married for tax purposes as long as you were married as of the last day of the year, regardless of whether your marriage license has been issued. Your last name is a non-issue, as many married couples file jointly even when they have different last names.

The decision about whether to file joint or separate returns depends on which would be better for you from a financial perspective. The best way to make this determination is to have your tax preparer prepare a draft of both types of returns (single and married-filing-jointly) so that you can determine which produces the better results for you and your spouse.

For more insight, see Happily Married? File Separately! and The Tax Benefits Of Having A Spouse.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby.

Hot Definitions
  1. Cash Flow

    The net amount of cash and cash-equivalents moving into and out of a business. Positive cash flow indicates that a company's ...
  2. PLUS Loan

    A low-cost student loan offered to parents of students currently enrolled in post-secondary education. With a PLUS Loan, ...
  3. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics ...
  4. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  5. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
  6. Cover Letter

    A written document submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. ...
Trading Center