If you or a client has just gotten married or divorced, the last thing you want is for something to further complicate tax returns–or throw a snag into the processing of a refund.
Name changes can do just that, whether it’s a matter of taking a new name or resuming an old one. Connubial bliss can suffer if the refund doesn’t arrive in time to pay some of those hefty wedding bills–and freedom might not seem so free if finances are impaired when a long-anticipated refund check fails to show up. So here are five suggestions from the IRS that can help you stay out of trouble, whether you’re once again flying solo or have just tied the knot.
1. Calling a Spouse a Spouse
So you’ve taken the plunge and jumped the broom. The IRS’ computers won’t know, or care, unless you let the Social Security Administration know too–after all, a computer will look at your Social Security number and the name on your joint return and scream “Reject!”–even if you kept your old name and hyphenated it with that of your new spouse.
2. Back to the Future
Divorced? Same problem. If you went back to your old name, don’t forget to let SSA know so that the IRS computers don’t have a nervous breakdown trying to figure out where they know you from.
3. A Rose by Any Other Name