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ASK THE DOCTOR

1. Name and Address Change You may decide to legally change your name after the nuptials. The name on your tax return must match what was reported to the Social Security Administration (SSA), exactly. Also, consider the need to file a change of address form with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by completing and filing Form 8822. If moving also report the address changes with the USPS.

2. Filing Status As long as you are legally married as of December 31st you will file either married filing jointly or married filing separately for that entire tax year. Most times it is best to file jointly, but calculate the numbers to be sure.

3. Withholding What to do with your withholding and W-4 Form

You should take a look at your tax picture as a married couple versus single filing—perhaps with combined income you are now in a higher tax bracket and should consider increasing your withholding as a result. You can adjust your federal withholding via completing a Form W-4 and giving it to your employer. Or perhaps you or your spouse will be staying home raising your children—this may put you in a lower tax bracket and you may be able to reduce your federal withholding.

Eye care for children. Good vision is essential for a child’s physical and educational development. Because a child’s eyes are constantly developing, early detection of eye problems is key to eye health in children. That’s why routine vision screenings by an experienced pediatric eye care specialist are so important. If your child fails a school vision screening, ever has a vision complaint, or you just have concerns about your child’s vision, one of our experienced pediatric eye care specialists would be happy to help. — DAVID S. GOLDBERG, MD, FAAP MITCHELL M. SCHEIMAN, OD, FAAO PEDIATRIC EYE SPECIALISTS

5. Marriage Penalty Does it really exist?

Is there really a “marriage penalty” within the tax code? Although some feel Congress made efforts to remove the so-called penalties, others feel there is indeed still a marriage penalty in the tax code. For instance, with the new Medicare surtax of 3.8% on net investment income, the applicable adjusted gross income (AGI) threshold for single individuals is $200,000 but for married filing jointly it is only $250,000. Additionally, the phase-out of personal exemptions was reinstated in 2013. A single filer’s personal exemptions will begin to phase out at $250,000 of AGI, and married filers will begin to phase out at $300,000 of AGI. You can clearly see the married filing jointly thresholds are not exactly double the amount of the single thresholds—hence the terminology “marriage penalty.”

EYE CONSULTANTS OF PENNSYLVANIA is the leading ophthalmology and optometry practice in the region. Each of our Pediatric Eye Care Specialists is respected by their fellow doctors for their experience, their clinical excellence, and as important, for their genuine compassion. Where you get your care matters. Insist on Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania.

Schedule your child’s evaluation today: call 610-378-1344.

The Pediatric Eye Center www.EyeConsultantsOfPA.com

6. Itemized Deductions You may get more of a tax benefit from itemizing your deductions versus taking the standard deduction once you get married. Itemized deductions are reported on Schedule A of the tax return and include deductions for state and local income taxes paid, mortgage interest, charitable contributions and several other possible deductions. It makes sense to run the calculations to be sure you are getting the most tax savings possible! continued on page 38

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