21// Semi-"Secret" Marriage & Filing Taxes?

First off, I'm 21 yrs old. For reasons, I live with and work for my family's businesses. My fiance's in the Marines (whom I've dated since we were 15yrs old) and we wish to be married earlier than originally planned. We live states away from each other & although my father approves of us being married, he's somewhat controlling and this wouldn't sit well on his end, just yet. We have every intention of telling him the truth down the road ( continued reading will explain) and should he ask, he will not be lied to. To make it a little more clear- I'm NOT using my father + trying to secretly marry to satisfy a self-indulgent choice. I work 55 hours a week, manage my own finances, do not have the luxury of enjoying bonding time with my friends, and adhere to my family's Greek way of life. The only justification for this situation summary is I wish to emphasize that I'm *respectfully* not in need of an analyzation and counseling session regarding this decision.

Back to the dilemma of my situation. As the family's accountant files all business and personal taxes, what are the legal obligations between the IRS and reporting a marriage? I do not intend on taking my fiance's last name until our renewal of vows, which will be no longer than 3 years from when we are initially married & will be the formal ceremony for my father (My fiance's family and my close family already know of our situation). Therefore; since I am not changing my name, how does that affect me? For clarification in case there was any unclarity, no one claims me as a dependant.

Any additional information or constructive commentary relative to my question, would be greatly appreciated!

*I kindly request refraining from disrespectful opinions.*

~ Thank you!

7 Answers

  • garyg7
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    As soon as you marry your fiance, even in a secret wedding, you can no longer file as "Single." Your choices are Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) and Married Filing Separately (MFS). Without information about your income and your fiance's income, I can only guess that your best option would be to file MFJ. Your name doesn't matter. You can keep your name, take your fiance's name, or even make up a new one and your marital status will not change.

    I think you should find a different person to prepare your taxes for you. That way, the family accountant won't know that you're married and can't relay that information (accidentally or intentionally) to your family.

    Seriously, until your fiance is back in the US, you should contemplate waiting to get married. What's the purpose until then? The stress of keeping such a big secret may well cause problems for you. Also, when your parents find out that you have kept the secret from them, they may take a long time to forgive you. So, if you really must get married, you should be honest with your family.

    I hope this helps.


  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    If you're legally married, then you must indicate accordingly on your tax return by either filling jointly with your legal spouse, or by filling your own return and choosing "Married Filling separately"

    Your name doesn't matter. Some people never change their names when they get married. There's no law that says a husband and wife have to have the same last name, its only a tradition.

    I was about to tell you that your parents can't claim you as a dependent anyway, since you're too old and not a student and you're supporting yourself, but you said nobody claims you so I guess that's a moot point.

    Bottom line is that if you are legally married you must file taxes as such. (and your husband must do the same).

    Is there any way that you can file your taxes yourself or get a different tax preparer?

  • 9 years ago

    Assuming you are not a student and that you will earn more than $ 3,700 during the year of 2010; this takes you out from under your parents return as a dependent. You and your husband's filing status can either be married, filing joint; or, married, filing separate. Nobody but you or your husband has any legal right to view or examine your tax return and you don't have to volunteer information therefrom with anybody. It is your business and your husband's business only. Good luck; and, be sure and leave your W-4 set at single and zero to maximize withholding vis-a-vis a two wage earner status so you don't wind up owing money at filing time.

  • 9 years ago

    The above answers are all correct. If you are legally married (regardless of whether it is a secret from your relatives) on 12-31, you must file as married (either MFJ or MFS) on your tax return.

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  • Judy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Changing your name or not doesn't matter. If you are married as of the end of the year, you can't file as single, have to either file a joint return or as married filing separately. So the accountant will have to know.

    Good luck with everything.

  • tro
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    if you are in fact legally married you have no choice, you have to file married, either jointly or separately

    if you are not already married, since you have already waited this long to tie the knot, what is the hurry now, are there extenuating circumstances?

    you are completely self sufficient, doesn't look like you have additional needs and if you don't want your family to know you are married, honor your parents and wait

  • botygy
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    If you are married, you are married. Your only obligation is to indicate that on your income tax returns via your filing status--"Married filing jointly" or "Married filing separately."

    Source(s): Me, CPA
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