Filing This Year’s Tax Return: Name Change as a Result of Divorce or Marriage

If you changed your last name last year as a result of getting married or divorced, you need to make sure that the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration (the “SSA”). This is because the new name which you adopted as a result of marriage (or an old name to which you reverted after your divorce) is usually not reflected on your social security card. Therefore, your new name is not likely to match your old social security number (the “SSN”).

Informing the SSA about the name change is relatively easy. All you have to do is file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, at your local SSA office. The form can be found on the SSA’s website. You can also obtain the form by calling 800-772-1213 or at the local SSA offices.

It usually takes about two weeks to have the change verified.