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Do I have to change my tax status on my checks from single to married?

Centennial, CO |

I recently got married, can I just keep it single?

I want to know if I should change my tax withholding? I am only claiming 1 and SINGLE. Do I have to change it to married or married but withhold at a higher single rate? Also I have a daughter but I am still only claiming 1, should I change it to 2 (me AND my daughter)

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Your question is whether you have to change the names on your checks just because you became married? The answer is no. Unless it is a joint checking account, it should only have your name on it. There are millions of couples that maintain separate checking accounts with their name solely on the checks. If you are stating that you had a name change as part of the marriage, then you probably should change the name when you reorder the checks.


  2. I think you're talking about federal withholdings on your paychecks, right? There is nothing wrong with claiming one even though you have additional dependents. This way the employer will withhold more than if you were claiming 2 or 3 or more. The trouble that people get into is when they claim too high a number and there is insufficient withholdings.

    This response should not be considered legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by this response, which reflects only the opinion of the author. The response should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question and could change if additional facts were made available.


  3. You do not need to increase the number of dependents for withholding purposes unless you choose to. The drawback is that your employer will then overwithhold, so you are making a taxfree loan to the government. Some people like that, because they get a bigger refund at the end of the year. I think it’s poor tax and financial planning. To do it right, you need to project the amount of taxes that you and your husband will owe at year end. Then calculate the total amount of withholding for the two of you. If it is more than the amount of taxes projected, you should increase the number of dependents (but not more than you actually have) until the withholding is about equal to the taxes expected.

    DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only under the AVVO system, its terms and conditions. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney client relationship. I am admitted only in California. (Bryant) Keith Martin sbbizlaw.com