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It seems that life has gotten more complicated than ever over the past few years. After getting married just over 6 years ago, my hubs and I have had a lot of life changes, almost all of which have been chronicled on my blog.
First we picked up and moved to Grenada for the hubs to attend medical school. While we were there I started a freelance writing business to help bring in some extra income for our family. We paid off all our credit card debt and started saving for the future.
Then we found out we were pregnant with twins and I ended up having to come home to the United States a little earlier than we were expecting.
After the beans were born, we had to pick up and move across the country on short notice.
I tell you this because believe it or not, all of these events have had a huge effect on our finances, including the way we do our taxes.
It’s just about down to the wire for this year, and although I no longer DIY my taxes, I used to, and it was definitely a good experience that I think all couples should go through together early on in their marriage.
DIYing My Taxes
The first year the hubs and I were married we decided to DIY our taxes. We didn’t have a lot of assets or income at the time, and it was definitely a good exercise for us. At that point in our lives, things were less complicated. We didn’t have business income and expenses to account for on our taxes, which made everything a lot simpler.
We planned a night with no distractions so we could focus on the task at hand. We both brought all of our financial information and paperwork for the year to our “finance date” and got started on our taxes.
We chose to use tax software that walked us through everything by asking simple questions we already knew the answers to, like “Did you get married this past year?” or “Did you have a baby?” Questions like these are easy to answer and don’t require you to read or understand tax language that can be confusing and daunting.
Why Doing Taxes Together as a Couple Is a Good Idea
DIYing our taxes as a couple that year is the best thing we could have done. It allowed us to get a feel for our financial situation at that point in our lives and also allowed us to learn about each other’s financial background and knowledge.
Before getting married, you should have already discussed finances so you are both on the same page, but doing your taxes together takes that to a whole new level of financial intimacy.
Doing your taxes requires you to gather all of your financial information in one place and provides a great opportunity for an open discussion about debt, savings, earnings, other assets and liabilities, and more. It also forces you to get organized and helps you plan for the following year.
Will you be DIYing your own taxes this year?
Remember, beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxAct, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple federal and state return FREE today with TaxAct.
10 responses to “Why We DIYed Our Taxes Our First Year of Marriage”
I prefer DYIng our own taxes because when doing this, I get to figure out all financial matters especially that of my husband and makes me informed almost anything related to finances. It is one best way to get to know your partner in life.
Yes! These are great reasons to do your own taxes.
Lucky you! I wish I could DIY my taxes because I believe doing it on my own would let me know about more of my finances.
Doing your taxes is definitely a good time to review all of your finances as you have to have most of your information in front of you to finalize your taxes anyway.
Thanks for sharing this, Cat, I am self-employed and my wife and I have prepared our tax returns every year since our marriage in 2001. As you mentioned, the greatest benefit is the insight and knowledge both partners attain from entering and reviewing all that information. That value increases each year because an additional tax return is available then for comparison.
I love looking back and seeing how our incomes have grown and things have changed since the first time we filed taxes together. I know it’s nerdy, but it’s fun to see a pattern of growth there. 🙂
I hope I could DIY my taxes. There’s someone who prepares it for me. Don’t worry I’d try to ask her some information that would help get to know my financial matters.
Love this Cat. I have done my taxes for 5 years because of self-employment. What this has taught most is that I am fully aware of my financial matter and can review any information. Doing this made me realize that I have to achieve more in terms of my finances and retirement savings.
Wow! You guys have been through so many life changes in the last few years. Congrats on all of the successes! I feel the same way about DIY-taxes. I used online tax software and did my taxes and then my fiance’s taxes and then did our taxes as if we were married already – just to get an idea of what money we would save or gain- the past few years. I think doing your own taxes a few times (even when using tax software) is so important for educational purposes. People make it out to be this big thing but it’s really not that complicated and you can google everything.
Wow, really interesting article. Doing your own taxes with your husband sounded like a really positive experience for you guys. However, for some people, doing their own taxes can be very difficult. If you don’t mind me sharing, this is a great story about the top 5 ways people mess up their taxes that really connects with your post. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/1OJTh9W.