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Amending your return, in your situation, would be a good thing. Your wife did not work, so you only have one source of income.
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.
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.
So even thought DOMA just passed recently, I can still amend all three returns?
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
Do I need to update the W-4 before I amend the returns?
No, the W-4 is just for your payroll check. It won't have anything to do with your past taxes
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!
I'm so sorry to hear that! I was searching for an article for you which is why I was quiet for a minute
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
I think it's awesome, by the way, that the IRS is now recognizing same sex marriages.
Everyone deserves the same tax breaks.
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.
Thanks for the link!
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.
That's fantastic. I'm off to amend my returns ; ) Thanks for your help!