One of the most popular reasons an individual will change their last name is because they got married. Whether you are hyphening, or fully replacing your last name, the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) need to know.
To report a name change with the SSA, you must contact them by printing and filling out an Application for a Social Security Card found on the SSA website. In the case of changing a name due to marriage, the card will be referred to as a “corrected card.” Within this application, the SSA will ask for proof of legal name change. They will accept any of the following as proof: Marriage document, Divorce decree, Certificate of Naturalization showing the new name, or a Court order approving the name change. Make sure you have your marriage document on hand when applying. The SSA will also ask for supporting documents to verify your identity and will accept any of the following: your U.S. driver’s license, State-issued non-driver identification card, or U.S. passport. Once the form has been completed and you have gathered the documentation needed, you can go to the Social Security office in person, or you can mail the application. Remember, when you mail the application, you will need to send the original documents with the application.
The IRS checks SSA records to ensure names and SSN’s on each tax return match. If you fail to report a name change to the SSA, this can negatively influence your tax returns in the future. If your name on your return does not match SSA record, it can delay the processing of the return; and in terms of a refund, it will take much longer than the average 4-6 weeks for you to receive your refund due to a name discrepancy.
If you have changed both your name and your address, refer to one of our previous articles, “How to Notify the IRS of Your Change of Address”, and submit a Form 8822 to save you some time.