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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 16538
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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I just spent the last hour hunting online for answers to some

Resolved Question:

I just spent the last hour hunting online for answers to some of my questions about withholdings, taxes, etc. but as you have surely dealt with a number of issues I thought you might have some expertise and could advise me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I got married to my wife in July 2010. Because she did not work, and gay marriage was not recognized federally, I filed as head of household in 2011 and 2012. She was covered under my benefits after we married, but my W-4 still listed me as single. I realize now that since I was head of household, my wife should have been considered a dependent and her benefits should not have been taxed. I know that I can download the W-4 online and change my status from here on to married, but I'm trying to figure out what I need to do now that DOMA has been overturned. What would be the advantage of amending my returns and and in what way? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Liz
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  Megan C replied 2 years ago.

Megan C :

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.com

Megan C :

How are you today?

Megan C :

Amending your return, in your situation, would be a good thing. Your wife did not work, so you only have one source of income.

Megan C :

You would be taxed at a lower rate, because the married tax brackets are wider, so more income is taxed at each of the rates.

Megan C :

In doing this, you will remove the tax that was due to your wife's benefits, and you will be taxed at a lower rate. You can file as married for all years - 2010, 2011, and 2012 and get a refund of your taxes. You will have a refund. It would be different if she worked and you both had income streams - then we would have to look at what rate you were each taxed on and whether or not filing as married would increase tax or decrease it, or if it wouldn't be worth the effort to amend.

Customer:

So even thought DOMA just passed recently, I can still amend all three returns?

Megan C :

On your W-4 you should update it as married, and 3 allowances. You get one allowance for each you and your wife, and then a third allowance since she does not work

Customer:

Do I need to update the W-4 before I amend the returns?

Megan C :

No, the W-4 is just for your payroll check. It won't have anything to do with your past taxes

Customer:

Awesome. That is very helpful. We went to a financial planner today and the guy was such a jerk I was determined to figure this out myself!

Megan C :

I'm so sorry to hear that! I was searching for an article for you which is why I was quiet for a minute

Megan C :

Here's an article from the US Treasury. In it, it confirms that you can file amended returns for 2010-2012 and claim married filing joint CLICK HERE

Megan C :

I think it's awesome, by the way, that the IRS is now recognizing same sex marriages.

Megan C :

Everyone deserves the same tax breaks.

Customer:

It's really hard to find info online! I am an English teacher and pride myself on my searching skills, but I still didn't feel confident that anything I found was 100% reliable.

Customer:

Thanks for the link!

Megan C :

You're welcome

Megan C :

Yes, I was looking for something from the IRS because I just read it the other day, but the Treasury department is just as credible.

Customer:

That's fantastic. I'm off to amend my returns ; ) Thanks for your help!

Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 16538
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
Megan C and other Finance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Megan C replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, Elizabeth for your positive rating. Please come back and visit me any time you have a tax, social security, or finance question that needs answered. It was a pleasure working with you today.

Megan