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Eight Tax Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

2017-02-20 by Eva Rosenberg

Form 4506T request with the IRS for each of you. Request a copy of Form 1040 on line six, check all the boxes on the form, and enter the last four years on line nine (i.e., 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012).
Or, you can log into the the IRS’s Get Transcript system with your fiance’(e) and get the information on the spot.

When you send the form back to the IRS, the agency will send you the tax forms for the years you requested, and you’ll know if your future spouse has filed tax returns in the last four years. You’ll also learn whether he or she owes the IRS any money. If you fear that your soon-to-be spouse may owe outstanding balances for more than the past four years, you can request the last 10 years’ data.

Each order your own Equifax credit report to share with the other. Consider opting for a report that gives you information from all three nationwide credit reporting agencies. Doing so will alert you to liens, levies, a poor credit history, and more.

Once you have these reports in hand, it will be easier to start the money conversation. Thoroughly read the information in the reports and ask questions about anything you don’t understand, but don’t be hostile or accusing.

Ask the right questions. It’s important to be on the same page with your partner before you tie the knot. If your answers to the following questions differ, discuss your points of view rationally.

  1. What is your attitude towards money? Are you frugal, stingy, wasteful, or balanced?
  2. Do you gamble? How? Do you gamble online or in casinos? Do you make bets with friends?
  3. Do you owe any gambling debts?
  4. Are you willing to live on a budget?
  5. What big purchases are you itching to make in the next few years, and how do you plan to pay for them?
  6. Do you have child or spousal support obligations? Do you meet these obligations on time?
  7. How are your relationships with your ex and your children? How will those relationships impact our lives, financially and emotionally?
  8. Is there any reason why we might have to keep our finances separated, at least in the beginning?


These are just some questions to bring up. Sit and think about things that matter to you and make a list that works for your situation. That way, you’ll be prepared to have a calm and rational conversation. I do hope it works out!

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