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  • Writer's pictureBarwick & Associates

Knots, Tied or Untied.

Making sure to update your Facebook "Relationship Status" might be important, but family and friends aren't the only people you need to let know about any changes in your marital situation.

Newlyweds and the recently divorced should make sure that names on their tax returns match those registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A mismatch between a name on the tax return and a Social Security number (SSN) could cause your tax return to be rejected by the IRS. And trust us, no one wants that!

For newlyweds, the tax scenario can begin when one says "I do" and takes the other's surname, but doesn't tell the SSA about the name change. If the couple then files a joint tax return with the surname change, the IRS computers will not be able to match the new name with the SSN. This can cause some serious problems down the road!

Similarly, after a divorce, the partner who had taken on the new surname and had made that change known to the SSA should contact the SSA if they reassume a previous name.

It's easy to inform the SSA of a name change by filing Form SS-5 at a local SSA office. It usually takes two weeks to have the change verified. The form is available on the agency's Web site,, by calling toll free 1-800-772-1213 and at local offices. The SSA Web site provides the addresses of local offices.  Alternatively, please contact us as we can be of even greater assistance with your spousal situation!

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