When a couple is married, it’s extremely common for one of the partners to change their last name to that of their spouse. As a result of a divorce, this last name may be changed back to the former last name of that person. In order to protect yourself from any tax complications, it is important to ensure that the name on your tax return matches with that of the one registered with the Social Security Administration. If there is any mismatch between these names, it can cause quite the headache when it comes to processing your return, and can greatly delay your refund.
Here are some of the necessary steps for recently married or divorced taxpayers to follow to ensure their tax protection in the case of any name changes:
1. As soon as you change your last name or hyphenated or made any other changes to your name, you must notify the Social Security Administration immediately. Without notification, the SSA and IRS cannot match your names on your tax returns and your social security card.
2. If you divorce and change your last name back to your maiden name, you must also notify the SSA immediately.
3. File a form SS-5 Application for a new Social Security Card to notify the SSA of a name change. Proof of name change will need to be provided with this application, so bring any kind of documentation that could prove this including a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order for a name change.
4. If after marriage you adopted your spouse’s children, it is important to determine if the children each have their own social security number, since taxpayers must provide a social security number for each dependent claimed on a tax return.
For more information regarding taxes and how your divorce can impact the process, contact a Surprise divorce attorney at The Sampair Group. We will work with you to ease the stress and pressure that can come from a divorce proceeding, along with all of the other elements that come with it.