Changing your name can have a direct effect on your taxes – and you may have to add a step or two when it comes time to file your taxes.
Whether you were married, divorced, or just decided you were due for a change, as we pointed out in our previous post, name changes are one of the most common reasons for tax return errors. Regardless your cause for the change, we have some helpful tips to help minimize the hassle and ensure your tax filing experience is easy and stress free!
Changing Your Name After Marriage or Divorce
For your tax time, there will be several things you need when you sit down to prepare your taxes to decrease your chances for an error on your tax return:
- Approved name change from the Social Security Administration – When you get married and change your name, you must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA). You cannot file your taxes under your new name until the SSA has confirmed the change with the IRS. Otherwise, your return could be rejected.
- Remember your Government Issued ID – Remember that if you use your Passport or Driver’s License for your government issued ID, you’ll need to file updates for these as well. To do this, you’ll need your new Social Security card and Marriage License.
- Updated Tax Documents – Remember that with the name change, all of your applicable tax documents should have your updated name.
- Have your new Social Security Card and Marriage Licenses or your Divorce Decree on hand – In the event you are audited or have your return rejected for some reason, save these items with your tax documents to have readily available.’
- Remember the kids – Remember that if your bringing children into a marriage or changing their name due to a divorce, you’ll need to follow the same name change suggestions above for them as well.
Other Reasons for Changing Your Name
In other cases, you may decide to change your name for personal reasons. In this case, you’ll want to follow some of the same suggestions above with notifying the SSA and confirming your change has been accepted by the IRS, but there are a couple other considerations to remember:
- Save your Petition for Name Change – Similar to a Marriage License or Divorce Decree, your approved Petition for Name Change is what allows you to legally change your name. You’ll want to keep this item for the filing year with your tax documents in the event the IRS looks into your situation further.
- Keep everyone up-to-date – If anyone claims you as a dependent, make sure they have you listed by your new name. Being listed by a previous name may result in their return being rejected.
Remember that with a new name brings new tax challenges. We’re here to help make difficult takes situations easier. We can help no matter your tax situation, and we provide helpful resources on The Daily Deduction all year long. If you found this article helpful, you can share this with your social network or friends by clicking on the share buttons above or below. If you want more articles or tips like these, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get more articles like this posted directly to your timeline or newsfeed!