151 Comments

It's that time of year again. The time when we all look up, see the date on the calendar and think "oh no. Taxes are due how soon? Arrrrghhhh!"

The last thing on your mind right now—now that you've noticed the date—is working on changing your name. "That can wait for a while," you might be thinking. "I need to find those receipts and that W-2 and wait… am I filing taxes alone or are we filing together? How do you even do married taxes?"

Let's leave the "how do you do married taxes" question for another time. For now, let's just impress upon you that this is not the time to stop working on getting your name changed. In fact, now is the time when you want to ramp up your name change, particularly if you haven't yet changed your name with the Social Security Administration.

IMPORTANT: You cannot file your taxes under your new married name until you have legally changed your name with the Social Security Administration.

ALSO IMPORTANT THOUGH LESS FUN: If you are divorced and have taken back your maiden name (or taken on a new name altogether), the same rule applies.

The name you give to the IRS and the name on file with the SSA has to match.

This is because the IRS verifies the information you put on your taxes with the information on file with the Social Security Administration. If it doesn't match badness ensues, such as a potential delay in receiving any tax refund that you're entitled to.

The IRS may simply decide that, since the information doesn't match, it will not process your taxes. Because this is the "busy season" for them, you might not receive notification about this until well after the deadline for filing has passed. Failure to file is not a boat in which anybody wants to sit.

If the IRS does process your taxes, it may decide to hold on to your return until the name on file with the SSA matches the name you entered on your forms. Again, it might take weeks for this decision to be communicated to you. This is not helpful if you had big plans for your tax return!

You could get entangled in weeks of red tape, forms and headaches as you work to get the Social Security office and the IRS on the same page. And believe us, getting everybody on the same page is going to be your responsibility. These agencies merely process forms and hunt down errors. Fixing the errors is not in either of their wheel houses.

Nobody wants to deal with all of that.

Usually, changing your name with the SSA isn't that big a deal. You simply mail in the correct form, legal proof of your name change (a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree should suffice unless you live in a state where more steps need to be taken) and wait for your new card to arrive in the mail. Pretty easy, right?

Sorry, not today!

Because it's later in March and your taxes need to be filed by April 15, there is no guarantee that the SSA will receive your paperwork and get your name change processed in time. You're going to have to go down to the SSA office and change it in person.

Changing your name is one of those things that feels like a giant hassle. It's understandable that you'd want to put it off for as long as possible. Luckily there are things that you can use to help streamline the name change process. If you wanted, you could even get almost all of your name changing done (or at least set the wheels in motion) in a single day.

What matters is that you don't put it off. Putting it off, like most things that feel like a giant hassle, only makes the problem worse. Once you get started you'll see how little of a hassle the process actually is.

In this case, the good news is that, because you're actually going to the office, the system should process your name change within a day or two. Hooray!

Still, you'll want to wait at least ten business days before you actually file your taxes, just to give the SSA some wiggle room. That's okay though: you need that time to find your receipts, W-2s and fill out your forms!

151 Comments

  1. Allison Wallace

    I have been married for two years but I have only had my husbands last name for a year now. I've changed my SSC, passport, mailing and bank name but I still haven't changed my Drivers licenses (cuz we're moving) and my last name at school. I'm most concerned for my name at school. I will be receiving a 1098-T Form from my school with my maiden name on it. My name on everything else is my married name and I will put my married name on our taxes but my school form will still say my maiden name. Will this be a problem when we file taxes?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will this be a problem when we file taxes?

      It could be. The name you provide to the IRS must match the name on your social security record.

      Reply
  2. nicole

    i recently got married and hanged my name with the social security i worked 2 different jobs last year and the w2 forms have my old name on them what should i do?

    Reply
      1. Katie

        Hi, I'm in the same boat as Nicole. To clarify the response above, do I need to get all of my tax forms with my maiden name updated before I can file? Besides W2s, I have HSA forms and student loan forms with my maiden name. Wondering if I need to request updated forms for everything (hoping not)

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Katie. You should try to get them updated to reflect your current name. If you don't think you'll be able to get it done in time, you can either request an extension or file as-is and amend them later.

          Reply
  3. Faith

    I went to the social security office and changed my last name because I forgot about it well I went and changed it with the ssa how long does it take for the irsto get that update

    Reply
    1. Valera

      how long does it take for the irsto get that update

      Typically, around 10 days.

      Reply
  4. Heather

    I filed my taxes under my maiden name. I just received notification that the SSA office received my name change application and was sending my new social security card. Will this delay the processing of my taxes??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      You should be fine. The SSA will notify the IRS when they process a name change.

      Reply
  5. Nathan

    I have a question. My wife and I got married, and she sent the forms to the SSA to have her name changed, We filed our taxes jointly and used her maiden name. We just got word that our Tax return got sent to the errors dept and we are assuming its because the last name on the tax return doesnt match the name with the ssa. How do we get both on the same page?

    Reply
    1. Nathan

      well my wife said the the SSA didnt change her last name because we didnt send in a certified copy of the Marriage license.

      Reply
      1. Valera

        True. The social security administration requires a certified copy of your marriage certificate. This can be acquired by contacting your local vital records office. So, if your wife's name was not successfully changed, what's the current name on file with the SSA? Her maiden, or a prior married name? Where is the name mismatch occurring with between the SSA and IRS?

        Reply
    2. Valera

      Hi Nathan. The IRS goes by what's on the social security record. When you file your taxes, the name must match what's on file with the SSA. So, if you have to refile or have it go through corrections, you'll want to confirm what's on your wife's social security record.

      Reply
  6. Anna

    Following Nicole's question how will employers know to send a W-2C if we don't work there anymore? Should we call old employers to let them know that we have changed our last name and to file a W-2C?

    Reply
      1. Samantha

        Is that necessary or can you just put your new name when filing your previous job W2 with your maiden name on it? Reason for asking is that I have already changed to my married last name on my social card but have a previous employer W2 that has my maiden name on it. If the IRS and SSA goes by what's on your social is a W-2C even required?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Samantha. Yes, they do go by SS number. But if there's a name mismatch, it may be flagged for manual review/processing. If there's a problem, you'll be notified. Worst case, it'll just delay things.

          Reply
  7. Cindi G

    I changed my name when I married over 6 years ago. I promptly updated all records successfully. My new social security card is correct with my new name as is my drivers license, credit cards, etc.

    We always file w/IRS and state tax form using my new/married name but we occasionally receive various notices/replies from the IRS addressed to me in my old name. IRS blames SSA and SSA blames IRS. What should I do?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cindi. The IRS originally gets notified by the SSA when there's a name change, so it's difficult to say where the occasional mail inconsistency is creeping in. Have you tried calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to try and get help tracking down the discrepancy?

      Reply
  8. Susan Ennis

    Why about if my SS card is correct and the IRS is still using my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Susan. When the SSA is notified of a name change and updates their records, the IRS is notified of it automatically. If that didn't happen, there's a problem somewhere. Contact the IRS to determine why their records weren't synced. Also, you'll want to make sure your employer is using the correct name when filing the W-2 form.

      Reply
  9. Liz

    Hi, I changed my name over to my married name on the 5th of January. I went to the ssa office in person to do it. The man told me that it updates over night and I was okay to file taxes using my married name. However when I filed last week it was rejected because the irs aparently didn't get the update. So I had to refile using my maiden last name. My return was accepted the next day on the 14th. But now I'm worried that it will finally update after they have already accepted it. What should I do, or what do you think will happen?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Liz. You should be fine. An update doesn't erase your history, it just supplements it. Back references to your prior name will still be linked to your record.

      Reply
  10. Faith

    My husband and i got married but i havent changed my last name yet, if i file with my maiden name do we still have to put we are married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Faith. As long as the name you use when you file matches what's on your social security record, you'll be good. If your marital status is being asked, just specify married.

      Reply
  11. maria

    I changed my last name a week ago to my married last name but my w-2 still has my maiden last name what should i file under?!?!?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maria. Your married name, if you've changed it with the SSA. Your employer can issue a correction by submitting a W-2C form.

      Reply
  12. Season

    I got married and changed my last name I kept my old name and added my husbands but I completely forgot about it, when I put my info Into turbo tax it automatically input my maiden name and I didn't pay it any attention… The irs website says accepted will this stop them from approving my return

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Season. I take it you've hyphenated or used a double-barreled last name. In that case, it may not be a problem due to the first four letters of your married name being the same as your maiden. If the IRS does later cite a name mismatch, they'll notify you about it so that you may correct it. It may delay your tax refund.

      Reply
  13. Jes

    I used an online tax website that I have used for years. I hit "yes" when it asked if I wanted to upload my previous information. I got married almost 2 years ago. I didn't notice that the tax website uploaded my maiden name. The IRS accepted our return but will it now reject it because my maiden name was used? Can I call them to get this cleared up quickly? We need this refund to clear up some medical debt ordered by the court for my husband to pay because his ex quit her job. I am freaking out that we don't get our refund for months causing us serious financial issues. Help please!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I call them to get this cleared up quickly?

      Yes, the IRS can correct your name over the phone by calling 800-829-1040.

      Reply
  14. alicia

    i got married and changed my last name but when i did turbotax it automatically put maiden name from previous years and i forgot to change it..i had two w2, one with maiden name and one with name change.. irs accepted it but will there be problem with them approving it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alicia. Phone the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 to have them correct it over the phone.

      Reply
  15. Clarissa Santiago

    I got married January 5th, 2016, I have went to the SS office and changed my last name and I have already got my new SS card in the mail, my husband has 2 last names and I took both of them, so my question is do I file my taxes with my new last name and if so do I put both of my last names in or just one them?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      do I file my taxes with my new last name and if so do I put both of my last names in or just one them?

      Both last names. Match what's on your SS card.

      Reply
  16. samuel

    I filed my taxes jointly with my she hadnt had her last name changed through SSA I used her maiden name will that keep us from getting taxes? Also filed on 19th and its now the 2nd I've never had to wait this long what could be the reason?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Samuel. If she hasn't yet changed her name with the SSA, and her maiden name is still what's on her SS record, then filing with the same maiden name was proper. As for the lengthy wait, it wouldn't be the result of a name mismatch.

      Reply
  17. Laura

    I got married in Nov. 2015 but my name change didn't get filed with the SSA until Jan. 4, 2016. According to the tax rules I believe I need to ask for a corrected W2 as that still shows my maiden name. I asked my employer for a corrected W2 to my married name, but they said since I didn't correct my name with the SSA until 2016 they can't do it. Calling the IRS, their help "tree" indicates my question can't be answered by a live agent and I need to use their website to find answers…which I can't find! Any thoughts on this — it seems on the W2 form, IRS site, and on your site what matters is that my name needs to match the SSA records at the time of filing, and that is my married name. Not sure what to do if my employer won't provide the corrected form!

    Reply
  18. Pobee

    Hi, I got married last December 2015 and already had my name changed at SSA last Jan. 19 2016. However, my w-2 is still on my maiden name. Can I file my tax under my married name even though my w-2 does not match with the forms? I will be file as married jointly. Will there be any problem?

    Reply
  19. Jase

    We filed on the 22nd and it was accepted but still hasn't been processed. We were married in October but have not had her named changed at the SSA yet. I filed using her maiden name that's also on her ss card.

    I was worried that this was what's holding the tax refund up . We were going to rush down today to get the name change forms submitted but I think it would just complicate things now ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jase. If her name hasn't been changed with the SSA, then any holdup or delay isn't name change related. There's something else going on.

      Reply
  20. Nicole

    Hi I have a question about my irs refund on my health care I have a different last name but under Social Security my last name is the same as IRS would that be a problem

    Reply
      1. Nicole

        No talking about a out site of the market like Medicaid will that delay your refund different last name on both

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Nicole. You can contact your Medicaid caseworker, request a Change of Information Form, then submit it (by mail or in person) with your updated name. You'll get a new Medicaid card with your correct name info.

          It's doubtful this would impact your return, but since this is something you'll have to update anyway, you can confirm with your caseworker.

          Reply
  21. Brittany Eblin

    My society security number matches what i filed under but my w2 has my married name on it, will that mess something up?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brittany. If the name you're using matches the SSA and IRS records, you're good to go.

      Reply
  22. Emily

    I filed my taxes under my new married name. My married name and txes my SS # and my taxes have been approved. My bnk account thy I am having my return sent to is under my maiden name. Will the return still be deposited into my account as scheduled? Thank you for your help.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Emily. IRS verifies against the bank name, routing, and account number for tax refund direct deposits. If there's going to be a rejection, it would likely be on your bank side, so you'll have to contact your bank to find out if they'll let a name mismatch go through.

      If direct deposit of your refund does fail, the IRS will automatically be notified, then they'll postal mail you a paper check.

      Reply
  23. Candace

    I changed my last name back in April 2015 so well before filing this year. I received my new social security card in April as well. Even my employer updated my W2 to match my new last name. However when I filed and was accepted on January 19, 2016 I thought all was fine. However the IRS is saying there is a delay on processing my return and the only thing they could see that's possibly causing the delay is my last name. Although it was verified with SSA. Is this normal? Can delays still happen although everything was done well before time? How is this possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Candace. When you update with SSA, they'll notify the IRS of your name change. Because your application was accepted doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't a name mismatch. It's possible your record wasn't updated. You can get in touch with the IRS (800-829-1040) and get clear confirmation if your name (letter by letter) is or is not correct in their system.

      Reply
  24. Crystal

    Question i filed head of household as i always do…me and husband separated i never changed maiden name on ss card but my bank card had my married name because of liscense my return was returned to irs by bank now they say im under review how long should this take

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Crystal. Amendments can take 8-12 weeks, but you can try phoning the IRS (800-829-1040) to see if they can expedite a name correction, as that seems to be what you're experiencing—using a name that differs from what's on your SS card? If that's not the case, please clarify.

      Reply
  25. Nicole

    I got married a few years ago and only changed my state ID to my married name. I never changed my SS because i didn't know i had to, plus we're seperated but not divorced. I filed and it was under my maiden name but state id says married name. Is there going to be a problem because of this. My return has beensaying in process for like 3 weeks now

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nicole. If there's a problem/delay, it wouldn't be because of your name. You're using the right name, which is what the SSA and IRS have on file.

      Reply
  26. Briitney

    I got married in November 2015 and changed my name with the social security office soon after. I was misinformed and thought I needed to show my employer my license which I didn't change until Jan 2016. They didn't have my updated info and my W-2 came in my maiden name. My employer just said to file my taxes and it would be fine but from what I'm reading, I might be in trouble here. I asked about the W-2c form and they said that's only used if my wages were wrong. What should I do?

    Reply
  27. Clari

    I got married in July 2015 and took my husband's last name but have not changed my social security number yet and have yet to update the banking information. Can I file my taxes with my maiden name and file as married jointly? Since we are expecting a refund, should I change my SS# after I file and immediately update my bank information so that the tax return is not denied by my bank? What order should I do this in?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I file my taxes with my maiden name and file as married jointly?

      If you're in a time crunch, you can wait to change your name, then file using your maiden name only. You'll use your maiden name even if filing jointly.

      Since we are expecting a refund, should I change my SS# after I file and immediately update my bank information so that the tax return is not denied by my bank? What order should I do this in?

      Your SS number stays the same after a name change. If you're referring to the name on your social security card, you can wait until your refund is deposited, then change your name with the SSA and your bank.

      Reply
  28. stephanie

    I filed taxes using my maiden name and went to the social security office a few days after to change to my married name. Will this affect my tax refund with the IRS since I changed my last name after I filed taxes?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Stephanie. It shouldn't be a problem, as you completed the name change after, not before, you filed.

      Reply
  29. Jessica

    One of my dependents had one last name all off last year except for the last 12 days or so in December, but did not change with SSA until after the 1st of the year, when I filed my taxes on Feb 4, 2016 I did not change the persons last name to the new last name, can this affect my return?

    The WMR says that they are being processed but they were accepted on the 5th.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      It could possibly affect your return. Are you seeing a personalized refund date yet? It could take up to 21 days to determine if your refund is accepted. When it exceeds 21 days from the date you filed electronically, you can contact them to see the status of your refund.

      Reply
  30. vanessa

    Hi my husband and I have been married for only two months now, I changed my name with the Social Security on Feb 2nd,2016. He filed his taxes as married but filed seperately and he put my maiden name. He filed on Feb 5th,2016.
    Will that delay anything? or should he contact Turbo Tax which is how he did his taxes or contact the IRS?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Vanessa. It's possible you may face a delay. TurboTax's website provide instructions for how to correct a filed return, if you've used their software. You can also try phoning the IRS to determine if you'll need to submit Form 1040X to amend your tax return.

      Reply
  31. Kim

    I changed back to my maiden name last month and have not filed taxes yet. My w2 form has my married name. Which name should i file my taxes with? Also, do you know how it will affect my child's fafsa application?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kim. Married name. Shouldn't affect FAFSA as long as the current name is used.

      Reply
  32. Samantha

    I just noticed my tax preparer has been using my maiden name the past 3 years on my tax returns. I brought it to his attention but he made it seem like it's not a big deal because it went through- and it wouldn't have gone through if it didn't match. However, I know it's been changed, and I have had my new ss card with my married name on it. Is there anything I need or should do, or is it ok like he said?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Samantha. If it went through, then you're okay. For future submissions, it's best to use the current name reflected on your SS card.

      Reply
  33. Maria Forness

    I got married in February of last year and almost immediately got my last name changed on my Social Security card, but have yet to change my name on my drivers license or any others like mortgage. Would I file my taxes under my new married name? And would not having it changed on my license/bills affect anything?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would I file my taxes under my new married name?

      Yes.

      And would not having it changed on my license/bills affect anything?

      No.

      Reply
  34. Cokie

    I got married in December 2015, but just changed my name through the SSA on 3/10. The W2 has my maiden name on it. I've notified my employer of the name change which they cannot process till the new card comes in. Should I be filing my taxes with my married name or my maiden name, since the taxes are for 2015? And how long does the name change on the W2 take, do I need to wait for it to file?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cokie. You'd file with your married name. It's unclear how long it takes SSA to alert IRS of a name change, but it is an automatic event. If you're having difficulty with your employer processing your name correction in a timely manner, you can get assistance from the IRS by calling 800-829-1040. This number is available after Feb 15 and is also good for those who need corrected W2's when an employer has gone out of business.

      Reply
  35. Kristin

    Hi there,

    I was married in Jan. 2016 and have changed my last name with the SSA. So, based on this article and the comments, I should file my taxes under my new married name, but does it matter that all of my tax documents (mortgage forms, W-2s, stockholdings, etc.) are still under my maiden name? Won't that also be confusing to the IRS, especially since I still technically have to file as "Single" based on the filing rules?

    Thanks for the help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kristin. Your W-2's may need to be updated, but it's not a given it'll be rejected as-is. In some circumstances, a name mismatch can undergo a manual review and allowed through without your ever knowing there was a potential problem. The IRS, along with the SSA, maintains a prior name history that can be referenced.

      Reply
  36. Sarah Smith

    I got divorced March 1st 2016 and changed my last name back to my maiden name right away – have gotten my new SS card with maiden name on it. Since I was married all of last year and W2 form has my married name on it, which name do I file taxes under this year??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sarah. Maiden name. Try and get your W2's modified to reflect your maiden name to prevent a name mismatch.

      Reply
  37. Jen

    I got married 5 yrs ago and never changed my name on my social security card. Do I just have to fill out a form to get it updated?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jen. Form SS-5. You can download it online or pick one up at your nearest SSA office.

      Reply
  38. Tonya

    I got married and separated in the same year (please don't judge) and I never changed my name. Can I file single or married filing separate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tonya. Your non-name change wouldn't affect your filing status. File as you previously did.

      Reply
  39. Isabel Manning

    I changed my name legally to my Married name, SS and all and filed with my married name but NYS sent me an IRS notice with my maiden name, should i be concerned?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Isabel. Best thing to do is to contact the NY State Tax Dept. and have them update your record.

      Reply
  40. tom

    we got married 15 years ago never got wife's named changed with SSA, getting ready to do so now. My question is when we do get it changed . will the IRS back date it to the date of marriage or go with the date they get notified?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      will the IRS back date it to the date of marriage or go with the date they get notified?

      Notification date.

      Reply
  41. Sarah

    I got married 5/7/2016 I changed my name with Social Security Administration and Drivers License. I have provided my employer with the necessary documentation 3 times and they still have not changed my name. Is there anything I can do?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sarah. Your employer won't update your name within their internal records? If so, has a reason be given. If you need your W-2 to be properly updated, you can contact the IRS and have them initiate a W-2 complaint on your behalf.

      Reply
  42. Emily Bailey (new name Emily L Bailey)

    I am a retired employee of IRS and my pension check is direct deposited into my bank account.
    I need to change my name with the IRS Pension Dept. The bank said they can't do it you have to..
    My health insurance payments are deducted from my pension and I am unable to correct my name on my insurance card. I've been to the Covington officeon 4th St (this is where I worked and retired from) and to the Cincinnati office at 5th & Main. I was told they can't help me and don't know who I should contact. Please let me know how I can get this fixed. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Emily Bailey (new name Emily L Bailey)

      I left a message. Where did it go? I need HELP to change my name on my pension and health insurance card.

      Reply
    2. Valera

      Hi Emily. Just to be clear, this site is not the IRS website, nor related to it, so if you need direct assistance you'll have to contact them direct. Having said that, are you saying the IRS only has reference to your old name? Have you updated your name with the SSA? They notify the IRS of a name change when your social security record is modified. When you tried to change your name on your insurance card, did you provide proof of your name change, such as an updated SS card and certified copy of your marriage certificate?

      Reply
  43. Emily Bailey (new name Emily L Kampsen)

    How do I get my name changed on my retirement fund? Change due to divorce.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Emily. Once you've changed your name with the SS office, contact your financial institution to change it with them. Gather information about what identity documents they require.

      Will they need only your social security number to run a name/identity check, or do they need additional credentials, such as a driver's license. How may credentials? If you can't supply all they need, will they accept secondary credentials?

      Will you need to supply proof of your name change, such as a copy of your divorce decree? Does the divorce decree need to be a certified copy or can it be a photocopy? Does your divorce decree contain an order from the judge restoring your name? If it does not, and they require it, can you get your decree modified? If you need to get your decree modified, but can't, how will they accommodate you?

      Will they need to permanently keep copies of your certificates (e.g., birth, divorce) or will you be able to retain them?

      Can you change your name with them by phone, mail, online, or in-person. Each institution's procedure is their own, and you'll have to follow what they've put in place.

      Reply
  44. Darlene Joe

    My husband n I are Married but I have NOT changed my last name yet and can we still file "Married this 2016 Tax Year?" or do I need name change ?

    Reply
  45. Jenna Buchanan

    I'm getting married Dec 17,2016 but I want to go ahead and start my taxes shorly after that, If I file taxes before I get my name change will it get delayed by waiting to change my name and social security info until I am approved for taxes?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jenna. Since the SSA notifies the IRS when their records reflect a name change, the transition should cause a problem. Still, you may want to get in touch with an accountant or query the IRS's toll-free line for assistance.

      Reply
  46. Arica Malone

    Ive been married for 3 years but now recently separated since March of 2016. Do I need to alert the IRS and how should I file now. Note I never had my last changed

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Arica. If you have a decree of separation maintenance before 2016 ended, then you may be able to file single. Otherwise, you'll be considered married and can opt to file as married filing separately.

      Reply
  47. Ashely banks hammonds

    I have just gottan married in july of 2016 i havent changed my last name on anything and we are filing separately can i still use my maiden name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      i havent changed my last name on anything and we are filing separately can i still use my maiden name

      Yes, that's the name you would have to file under.

      Reply
  48. Karen

    I am a caregiver, and my client just informed me that although he legally changed his name over 10 years ago, his accountant has been filing returns with his old name. My client showed me his proof from the Social Security office of the name change. When I asked my client why the accountant says she's filing his returns using his former name, she says it doesn't matter and that it goes by the social security number not the name of the person, which is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Karen. The Social Security Administration keeps a history of all name changes. Anytime a name change occurs, the IRS is notified. They're kept in sync. When taxes are filed and a name mismatch occurs that can't be resolved programmatically, it has to be manually reviewed. During the manual review, it's likelier than not the agent is able to see why there's a slight mismatch and will just push it through. It wouldn't be surprising if his record has been notated to reflect this.

      Reply
  49. Jessica Leinbach

    I got married on 1-4-17 and have changed my last name with the SSA. When I file my 2016 tax returns (as single) would I use my maiden name since I was single in 2016 or my married name since my name has now legally changed.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      When I file my 2016 tax returns (as single) would I use my maiden name since I was single in 2016 or my married name since my name has now legally changed.

      Married name.

      Reply
  50. Tabitha castline

    Got married in 2016 but haven't changed my last name with ss yet but w2s came with married name and my bank and I.d. has married last name on it do I file married with Maiden last name or single with maiden last name… Before I file taxes

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tabitha. Taxes are filed matching the name on your SS card. You can try to get your W2's amended.

      Reply
  51. Vanessa Cordova

    I got married January 22,2016 and changed my last name with the SSA not too long after but haven't changed my last name with the DMV, my w-2s will have my married last name on them, since this will be our first time filing taxes since we got married so we just wanted to know can my husband and I still file separately as we always have been before we got married or now that were married and I changed my name we have to file together?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can my husband and I still file separately as we always have been before we got married

      Yes, it's called "married filing separately."

      Reply
      1. Vanessa Cordova

        Even if I changed my name with the SSA I can still file separate from my husband? I only ask cause my tax preparer said since I changed my name we have to file together.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Even if I changed my name with the SSA I can still file separate from my husband?

          Yes, you have two options: married filing separately or married filing jointly.

          Reply
  52. Kaycee

    I changed my last name on December 29th 2016. I never received a new social security card. I applied for a credit card about 3 weeks after my name change and it was unable to find my information. When I used my maiden name it went through without any problems. For that reason I used my maiden name for our taxes. The taxes were accepted – does that mean my name doesn't appear to have been changed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      The taxes were accepted – does that mean my name doesn't appear to have been changed?

      That appears to be the case. You'd have to contact the SSA to determine for sure if they even received your documents.

      Reply
  53. Janelle

    My husband and I got married in September, and all my forms are still my maiden name as I haven't changed it with the SSA. When I got put on my husband's insurance, they mistakenly changed my last name to his, and on the insurance form for taxes he got back from his employer it lists my married name, not my maiden name like my other tax forms. Will this be an issue?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Janelle. It may be an issue. Your husband can request his employer correct their records and reissue the documents.

      Reply
  54. Kristen

    Hi, I got married in July 2016. I have not changed my name with the ssa or any where else. Would I still file single since I haven't changed my last name any where?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would I still file single since I haven't changed my last name any where?

      Your name change (or non-name change) wouldn't impact how you file. Although you have to specify your marital status as married, you can opt to file as married filing separately.

      Reply
  55. warren

    Me and my wife got married but she has not changed her last name yet so she wanted to know how she would file . Would she put single or married

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would she put single or married

      She'd put marital status as married, whether or not her name has changed.

      Reply
  56. Jessica

    I got married in January. I filed my taxes under old name, they've been excepted online. Can I change my name now? Or do I need to wait til I actually get my return?

    Reply
  57. Taisha

    Hi, I tried filing my taxes electronically and they were rejected because I got married and never changed my last name with the SSA. I went and changed my last name and they said it would update overnight and the IRS would be able to see it the next day. I tried to file again the next day and it still rejected it with the same error, I not have time to mail it in what should I do?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Taisha. You can contact the IRS to inquire. If it was successfully changed with the SSA, they do auto-notify the IRS to update their records.

      Reply
  58. Caroline

    I received my divorce decree and changed my name 24 hours later.
    Unfortunately this happened in November, so my W-2's have my married name and not my maiden name I got back. My name is changed on my SS and DL. I have to file as my maiden name. Will it matter my W-2's are with my married name?

    Reply
  59. janell

    I filed my taxes under maiden name they have been accepted by the IRS.. Can I go in and change my ss to married last name.. If so will it effect my return?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Janell. You can change it. The SSA will notify the IRS when your name is updated to keep both institutions in sync.

      Reply
  60. RitaRené Morton

    I got divorced and I change my name back to my maiden name but all my W2 say my married name I see that you're saying we need to file a w-2c form with all of my employers but do they give that corrected form to me or do they file it themselves and I still use the W-2 forms they gave me? Also is the form going to be exactly the same except with my corrected name and if so can I already file my taxes with all the same information and just Mark that they are corrected W-2 when I file online? Or do I have to actually wait to get all need W-2s from all of my employer's?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I see that you're saying we need to file a w-2c form with all of my employers but do they give that corrected form to me or do they file it themselves and I still use the W-2 forms they gave me?

      Your employers will not submit the W-2C to you. They'll file it themselves and reissue you a corrected W-2.

      Also is the form going to be exactly the same except with my corrected name and if so can I already file my taxes with all the same information and just Mark that they are corrected W-2 when I file online?

      Other than the correction, they'll be the same. If you're confident you'll get the corrected W-2 before tax day or when you have to file, then it's a good idea to wait. If you don't think you can get it in time, you can request an extension. If you can't wait and must file with the old W-2, you can submit an amendment later.

      Reply
  61. Monica Stroud

    Hello I'm wanting to know if me and my husband got married Aug 5 2016 so we have to file together?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Monica. No, you don't have to file together. Both of you can file as "married filing separately."

      Reply
  62. Andre Gill

    I have a question I got married in 2016 of November and I have not received my wedding Marriage certificate nor have my wife changed her name with social security so when we file can we still file married or Jointly?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Andre. You'd mark your marital status as married. How you file, is a separate matter. You can file married filing jointly, or married filing separately.

      Reply
  63. Holly

    I was notified by the IRS that I never filed a return in 2012. I have since been divorced and been going by my maiden name for the last 4 years. The information on my 1099 form under 2012 transcript shows my married name. What name should I use on my W-2?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Holly. You'd use the name that matches what's on your most current social security card.

      Reply
  64. Calley

    Hi, I got married in May of 2016. I filed with Social Security and changed my name over in July 2016. I filed jointly with my husband and used my new married name. I e-filed our return on Feb. 1st 2016 and it still shows processing. Would there be a reason why it is taking so long? We only had W2's for our return. However one of mine still had my maiden name on the W2. Could this be what is holding up the return?

    Should I try and send in a paper file return with a copy of my marriage certificate and the W2's?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would there be a reason why it is taking so long? We only had W2's for our return. However one of mine still had my maiden name on the W2. Could this be what is holding up the return?

      This name mismatch could be a reason. Your return could be flagged for manual review. Whether it'll pass or get rejected is unclear. You'll have to contact the IRS to determine the status.

      Should I try and send in a paper file return with a copy of my marriage certificate and the W2's?

      A corrected W2 would make sense.

      Reply
  65. Jocelyn

    I have a question, I got married January 2017. Do I file my taxes on my own or should I file joint with my husband? I've heard that if I file joint I may have issues with the IRS since I wasn't married in 2016 for the year that I am filing taxes.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jocelyn. You can do either. You can file as married filing jointly or married filing separately.

      Reply
  66. Yolanda

    I have question I changed my last name with the SSAafter being married that was in September 2016 I filed my taxes on 2/14/17 as did my husband his refund has been approved mines however is still in the processing stage I'm worried that I may still have to verify my identity should I call them?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Yolonda. Delays could be the result of a name mismatch, such as the name on your SS card not matching what you submitted. If not that, then it could be for a variety of other reasons. You may have to contact them to get the current status.

      Reply
  67. Laura C. Perez

    I have a question I changed my last to my married name back on October 2016. Also did changes on Drivers License and SS card and my passport. Everything matches including my W2, now this is my first year filing jointly with my husband. Will I have a delay on my return this year by being my first time filing together. I called because I filed my return on 2/21/2017 it was received and accepted that same day. Now I called and they told me it was going to take an additional 2 weeks to process the return. What can the problem be?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Laura. There doesn't appear to be a problem. If you're expecting a return, it could take up to three weeks, which is not abnormal. You can look up the status of your refund using the where's my refund tool on the IRS website.

      Reply
  68. Stephanie

    If i got married in August 2016 and have not changed my name on anything including Social Security can I file single or do I have to file married? Everything we own is in my name and his name is not on anything. I read that if we file married filing separately he has to itemize as well yet he has nothing to itemize.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Stephanie. You can't mark single, as that's no longer applicable to you. You must mark your marital status as "married", although you can file as "married filing separately" instead of "married filing jointly."

      Reply
  69. Alk

    I am married and when I efiled it wouldn't take my married name only my maiden name and w2 s are under my married name. Now it's under review. What will they do

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alk. It'll undergo manual review. If they're unable to resolve it on their end, you'll be contacted to make corrections.

      Reply

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