File Taxes after Recent Name Change
By now, you should have received your W-2s and started to prepare to file your 2010 tax returns. If you have recently changed your name due to marriage or divorce, then there are some extra steps you need to take in order to ensure that the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the names on your return and the name on SSA’s record do not match, it could result in a delay in getting your refund.
The IRA has a simple procedure to make sure that you have taken all necessary steps to correctly register your name before filing your returns.
- If you took your spouse’s last name or if both spouses hyphenate their last names, you may run into complications if you don’t notify the SSA. When newlyweds file a tax return using their new last names, IRS computers can’t match the new name with their Social Security Number.
- If you were recently divorced and changed back to your previous last name, you’ll also need to notify the SSA of this name change.
- Informing the SSA of a name change is easy; you’ll just need to file a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card at your local SSA office and provide a recently issued document as proof of your legal name change.
- Form SS-5 is available on Social Security Administration’s website or by calling 800-772-1213 or at local offices. Your new card will have the same number as your previous card, but will show your new name.
- If you adopted your spouse’s children after getting married, you’ll want to make sure the children have an SSN. Taxpayers must provide an SSN for each dependent claimed on a tax return. For adopted children without SSNs, the parents can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number – or ATIN – by filing Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions with the IRS. The ATIN is a temporary number used in place of an SSN on the tax return. Form W-7A is available on the IRS website
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