Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

5 tips after changing your name due to marriage or divorce

So, you married the love of your life? Or maybe you left him in the gutter where you found him? Either way, the IRS wants you to know that when changing your name, the name on your tax return must match the name registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Here are five things to keep in mind.

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  1. If you changed to your spouse’s name or hyphenated your last name, you need to notify the SSA. Without notification to the SSA, the IRS cannot match the name on your return to the name on your Social Security card.
  2. If you divorced and changed back to your maiden name, you will also need to notify the SSA.
  3. File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, to notify the SSA of a name change. You will need to provide proof of your name change, so bring a recently issued document (like a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order for a name change or Certificate of Naturalization showing your new name).
  4. You can find Form SS-5 at socialsecurity.gov or by calling (800) 772-1213.
  5. Did you adopt your spouse’s children? They must have a Social Security number to be claimed as a dependent on your tax return. If the adopted child does not have a Social Security number, they can file Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions, to get a temporary number in place of a Social Security number. Form W-7A can be found at irs.gov.

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Just remember – if it is on your tax return one way, it should be that same way on file with the Social Security Administration.

Do you still have questions on changing your name? Feel free to reach out to a Henry+Horne professional to assist you.

Henry + Horne