A Name Change May Cause Issues with Your Tax Return

April 4, 2018 | By Leslie B. Spoltore

Many spouses change their last name when they get married. If the marriage ends in divorce, they may choose to resume their maiden or former name. The Internal Revenue Service released a Publication reminding married and divorced people that if they do not take the necessary steps to ensure the name on their tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration, the mismatch will cause problems in the processing of their return and may even delay their refund.

The Publication advises:

  • Reporting Name Changes. Got married and now using a new spouse’s last name or hyphenate a name? Divorced and now back to using a former last name? In either case, taxpayers should notify the SSA of a name change. That way the new name on IRS records will match the SSA records.
  • Making Dependent’s Name Change. Notify the SSA if a dependent had a name change. For example, if a taxpayer adopted a child and the child’s last name changed. If the child does not have a Social Security number, the taxpayer may use an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numberon their tax return. An ATIN is a temporary number. Apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, with the IRS. Visit IRS.gov to get the form.
  • Getting a New SS Card.File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. The form is on gov or by calling 800-772-1213. The taxpayer’s new card will reflect the name change.

The entire Publication entitled “Name Change? How It Impacts Taxes” can be viewed here.

The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.

Categorized In: Divorce

About the Authors

Leslie B. Spoltore

Partner

Leslie focuses her practice on family law along with commercial and corporate litigation. In her family law practice, Leslie assists clients with divorce, adoptions, child support and alimony, custody and guardianship, pre-nuptial...

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