Report Name Changes before Filing Taxes

All of the names on a taxpayer's tax return must match Social Security Administration records because a name mismatch can delay a tax refund. Here's what you should do if anyone listed on their tax return changed their name:

1. Reporting Taxpayer's Name Change. Taxpayers who should notify the SSA of a name change include the following:

  • Taxpayers who got married and use their spouse's last name.

  • Recently married taxpayers who now use a hyphenated name.

  • Divorced taxpayers who now use their former last name.

2. Reporting Dependent's Name Change. Taxpayers should notify the SSA if a dependent's name changed. This includes an adopted child who now has a new last name. If the child doesn't have a Social Security number, the taxpayer may use a temporary Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) on the tax return. Taxpayers can apply for an ATIN by filing a Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions.

3. Getting a New Social Security Card. Taxpayers who have a name change should get a new card that reflects a name change. File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. Taxpayers can get the form on SSA.gov or by calling 800-772-1213.


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