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Last minute tax check up: Does your new name match Social Security records?

Posted on April 6, 2018


Did you know that when you and/or your spouse change your name, that change can affect your taxes?

Absolutely true, according to Teipen Selanders Poynter & Ayres. If you are filing jointly, all the names on your tax return must match Social Security Administration (SSA) records, and any name mismatch can delay your tax refund.

It’s not too late to update SSA records. If you legally changed your name in 2017, be sure to report the change to the SSA before you file your 2017 returns, including

  • Taxpayers who got married in 2017 and use their spouse’s last name.
  • Recently married taxpayers who now use a hyphenated name.
  • Divorced taxpayers who now use their former last name.

What about a dependent’s name change?

That’s important, too. Taxpayers should notify the SSA if a dependent’s name changed, such as a new child or adopted child who now has a new last name. If the child doesn’t have a Social Security number, the taxpayer may use a temporary Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number on the tax return. Your CPA can help you apply for an ATIN by filing Form W-7A.

Request a new Social Security card

Although you won’t have to have a new card at the time you file your taxes, taxpayers who have a name change should request an updated card as soon as possible. Taxpayers can get request Form SS-5 on SSA.gov or by calling 800-772-1213.

If you have already filed your return and didn’t consider any 2017 name changes, give our CPAs a call. We can help you make sure your ‘ducks are in a row’ with the SSA as well as the IRS.