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Four Tips from the IRS if You Changed Your Name Due to Marriage or Divorce

 Posted on January 11, 2016 in Divorce

Marriage and divorce change everything, including your tax situation. Whether you recently got married and changed your name or you recently went through a divorce and took back your maiden name, you should make sure that the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration. If you fail to match your name with both the IRS and SSA, it may cause problems with the processing of your tax return. In some instances, it may delay your refund, which could be substantially larger depending on your new relationship and filing status.

To make things easier on you, our Dallas, Texas family law attorney has included four tips from the IRS for recently married or divorced taxpayers who have undergone a name change:

  • If you took your spouse's last name and do not notify the SSA, you may run into trouble filing your tax return, whether you file jointly or as a single individual. Additionally, even if you hyphenate your name (meaning, you took your spouse's but also kept your own), the IRS still will not be able to create a match. To make sure that your name matches that with your Social Security Number, notify the SSA of your name change.
  • The same goes if you were recently divorced and took back your maiden name: You must notify the necessary administrations to ensure your tax return matches up with your SSN.
  • It is easy to inform the SSA of a name change. Simply fill out and file a Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, at your local SSA office. You will need to provide a recently issued document as proof of your legal name change. Visit the SSA's website, or call 800-772-1213, to inform them of your name change. You Social Security Number will remain the same; the name on the card will just be different.
  • If your spouse has children from a previous marriage and you adopt them, make sure that they have their Social Security Numbers on hand. If you are going to be helping support them, or if you will be claiming head of household, you can claim them as dependents on your tax return. If the children do not have SSNs, you can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number - or ATIN - which is a temporary number used in place of an SSN on a tax return.

Consult a Dallas, TX Family Law Attorney

At the Clark Law Group, our family law attorneys do not want you to miss out on your tax return because a few simple changes that you forgot to make after changing your name. There are a lot of small changes that you will need to make after getting married or divorce. To be sure that you have made them all, call our family law office at 469-906-2266 to consult with a legal expert, or schedule a private consultation online today.

(image courtesy of Travis Wise)

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