(CNN) – Did two sets of finances join in loving matrimony this year? If so, there will be some things to consider when filing your taxes.
Among all of the exciting things about being a newlywed, one of the least romantic is filing taxes.
Whether you had your wedding in January, June or on Dec. 31, your status is "married" in the eyes of the IRS for the entire year.
"Marriage is defined by your filing status at the end of the year," said licensed tax practitioner Isaac McRae. "You have the option of married filing jointly, or married filing separately, which is much different from filing as a single individual, or head of household individual."
McRae recommends doing research to choose that filing status wisely, especially if there's a gap in income between spouses.
"In some cases you may have a high-income spouse, and a low-income spouse," McRae said. "It would be more beneficial for you to file jointly because you'll be able to absorb the higher income spouse's income at a lower tax rate."
If a spouse comes into a marriage with past tax debt or a default on federal student loans, couples may consider filing separately.
"When you file jointly, whatever is on that tax return becomes your problem, yes. However, any past tax issues are not your problem when you file jointly. Anything that you did prior to you becoming married or filing are their own separate issues," McRae said.
However, those past issues could cut into a joint refund if you are entitled to one.
If it all seems confusing, consult a tax professional for the best option for you and your spouse.
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