“Say My Name, Say My Name”… On a Tax Return

Changing your name can have a ripple affect to other areas of life – including tax consequences. That’s why we are here to break down the effects and what to do if you or someone you know has recently changed their name. 

Why would someone change their name? There are several reasons, including:

  • Taking your spouse’s name after getting married
  • Choosing to hyphenate your last name with your spouse’s after getting married
  • After getting a divorce, going back to your former last name
  • If you have adopted a child and they are now taking your last name 

If you have recently changed your name, here’s what to do:

1.) Report the change to Social Security Administration (SSA)

You should do this as soon as possible because when you file your tax return, the IRS will check the SSA record to ensure accuracy. 

2.) Get a New Social Security Card

When you change your name, you need to fill out Form SS-5 which is an Application for a Social Security Card, which is available on this website: SSA.gov. This new SS card will show your name change. 

If the name is due to adoption…

…you should be sure to inform the Social Security Administration of your child’s name change. If he/she does not have a Social Security number, you can use the “Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number” (click here to locate on the IRS website) on your tax return. 

If you do not report a name change…

Remember, the IRS checks your information on your tax return with your Social Security information. If the names do not match, it can delay the IRS from processing that return and may take longer for you to receive your refund if you are due one. (And no one wants delayed money!)  

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* Information from the IRS.gov website 

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