'Til Taxes Due Us Part: H&R Block Gives Newlyweds Four Tax Tips

'Til Taxes Due Us Part: H&R Block Gives Newlyweds Four Tax Tips 
Major Life Change Can Bring About Major Tax Change 
KANSAS CITY, MO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/13/13 --  Ground Hog's Day.
Presidents Day. In some years Leap Day. But nothing highlights the
middle of February like Valentine's Day. On this day of love,
recently married and soon-to-be-married couples have some additional
things to keep in mind this tax season. H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) gives
newlyweds four tips to ensure they don't overpay their taxes when
filing as married for the first time.  
"When a major life change happens, taxpayers need to know it could
impact their tax situation," said Kathy Pickering, executive director
of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. "Not understanding the impact of
the resulting tax changes to the individual and household can be
Here are some tips the approximate 2.2 million couples who marry
annually should keep in mind when combining taxes with wedded bliss: 

--  Pick a new filing status -- People who are married can no longer file
    using the "single" status. Instead, they must file either as married
    filing jointly or married filing separately. The IRS determines filing
    status based on the last day of the year. So even those who got
    married Dec. 31 are considered married for the whole year.
    --  Many married couples file a joint tax return because it often
        results in the lowest tax liability. When filing jointly,
        taxpayers file one return that includes all tax information for
        both spouses. This makes both spouses jointly and separately
        liable for what is on the return.
    --  The other option is to file as "married filing separately."
        Approximately 2.5 million taxpayers choose this status annually.
        Additionally, some of the tax benefits available to those filing
        jointly are not available when filing separately.
--  Update W-4s -- In some instances, married couples filing jointly can
    together earn twice as much money as a single individual and remain in
    the same tax bracket. To make sure the correct amount is withheld from
    their paychecks, newlyweds should check their withholding allowances
    on Form W-4. This form determines how much federal income tax is
ld from paychecks, based on the number of allowances claimed.
    Marital status is a consideration that can be taken into account when
    determining the number of allowances claimed. As more allowances are
    claimed, less tax is withheld.
    --  If there are dependents, the couple should decide together on any
        additional allowances for any dependents they claim. If both claim
        an additional allowance for the same dependent, that could result
        in too little withholding throughout the year and a possible tax
--  Understand house sale rules -- If one house was sold as a result of
    combining two households, meeting the "two-out-of-five" rule could
    help ease the tax burden of the gain. If the seller owned and used the
    home as a main residence for at least two of the past five years
    before selling it, usually the seller can exclude some or all of the
    gain from taxable income. Generally, the maximum exclusion is
    $250,000, but joint filers can exclude up to $500,000 if they meet
    these three requirements:
    --  Either spouse meets the ownership test
    --  Both spouses meet the use test
    --  Neither spouse excluded gain from a home sale in the previous two
--  Know retirement plan rules -- Filing a joint return may give married
    couples an edge. For example, to contribute to an IRA, individuals
    must have earned income. For couples with only one working spouse, the
    law allows a contribution to the IRA of a spouse with no earned
    income, if they file a joint tax return.

H&R Block's tax professionals prepare and sign their clients' tax
returns, guaranteeing accuracy and the maximum refund. In-office
preparation services include Second Look(R) reviews, and Block
Live(SM), the industry's only video tax preparation solution. H&R
Block At Home(TM) gives do-it-yourself filers the expertise and
guidance of The Tax Institute at H&R Block on their computers, iPads
and smart phones. The new My H&R Block Account lets taxpayers upload
receipts and other important tax season documents securely, to one
place, year-round, for free. The company offers affordable financial
products and services through H&R Block Bank, and keeps its offices
open and tax conversation going with clients year-round via blogs,
tweets and Facebook. 
For more information about ways to improve tax outlook, contact a
local H&R Block tax professional. To find the nearest H&R Block
office, visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.  
About H&R Block
 H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's largest
tax services provider. More than 600 million tax returns worldwide
have been prepared by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal
2012, H&R Block had annual revenues of $2.9 billion and prepared 25.6
million tax returns worldwide. Tax return preparation services are
provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by nearly
100,000 professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block At Home(TM)
digital products. H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products
and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press
About The Tax Institute at H&R Block
 The Tax Institute at H&R Block
is the go-to source for objective insights on federal and state tax
laws affecting the individual. It provides nonpartisan information
and analysis on the real world implications of tax policies and
proposals to policymakers, journalists, experts and tax preparers.
The institute's experts include CPAs, Enrolled Agents, tax attorneys
and former IRS agents. 
For Further Information:
Gene King
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