Discussion:Which name should she use?

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Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Which name should she use?

TaxDude (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2011
I tried to search for this answer, but I'm not even sure what search terms to use. I'm surprised I haven't run accross this before, but here goes.

A couple came in yesterday, they recently married (early in 2011). Obviously they need to each file single for 2010, but wife already applied with SSA to change her last name to new hubby's name.

I imagine if I efile with her maiden name it will get rejected for a mismatch right? Although I believe that is the right thing to do, she didn't have her new married last name in 2010. How often does IRS update their SSA database?

Anyone run into this before?


Rgtaxservice (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2011
Efile with her married name. If it gets rejected just change back to her maiden name and efile again. I don't how long Social Secuirty takes to change a name...but I would be surprised if it took less than six weeks.

EZTAX (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2011
Rg - did you mean try first with her maiden name? I agree I would guess it would take more than 6 weeks to process so most likely the name has not yet been changed.

I also agree it does not really matter. E-file with one, if it gets rejected use the other.

Nightsnorkeler (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2011
In my experience any changes made with SSA after August are not yet in the IRS computers. If the name change wasn't complete by August 31, 2010 I would file 2010 return with maiden name.

Fsteincpa (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2011
Yeah, it's no big deal. Try it one way, then fix it.

Tax Writer (talk|edits) said:

17 February 2011
I agree with Fred. Not a big deal. Try it one way, wait for the reject, and then try it the other way.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

18 February 2011
If SSA hasn't processed the name change yet, the efile return will be rejected. If she has a corrected social security card with her married name, then I would use the married name.

Trailman423 (talk|edits) said:

18 February 2011
In a previous employment I was responsible for e-filing approximately 3,000 returns.

My understanding, based on experience as well as what I was told, was that SSA transmits updates to IRS once a week. This was evidenced many times in practice when a client was newly married, failed to change her name with SSA, and the initial return was rejected. Our policy was to resubmit the return in the married name 10 days after she went to SSA and changed the name. In almost all cases the return was then accepted. If we resent the return on day 6 it might still be rejected, but upon resubmission on the 9th or 10th day it was then accepted.

I had a very odd case years ago where, after multiple rejections for a child's SSN / name mismatch, it was discovered that SSA had issued the same SSN to another child in the next county (different name). Though SSA claimed they had corrected the problem, the return continued to be rejected by IRS. The client insisted that they wanted to get the issue clarified and the return filed electronically. After pressing the issue with IRS and SSA, I was directed to speak with the ONE guy in the country whose job was to oversee the automated process of these updates. He confirmed these updates were weekly. Upon apprising him of this odd situation, he discovered an error in the updating process, thanked me for uncovering such a glitch, and said he would reprogram the process to avoid such happening in the future. He told me what day to resubmit the return (within the normal 10 day window), and the return was accepted on that date.

Though these incidents occurred 10 or more years ago, I highly doubt that today updates are done less often than weekly. I would recommend inquiring with SSA as to what they have on file for that client (an inquiry only the client can make) if a previously rejected return is not accepted on day 10 or 11 after an SSA change.

I also agree with the others here who say try it one way and if it gets rejected try it the other way. Just keep in mind that if the maiden name is used to get the return accepted, the check (if a paper check is requested) would be issued in the maiden name, which may or may not cause an issue with cashing it.

Krista (talk|edits) said:

18 February 2011
I married on December 31st, changed my name beginning of January, and efiled our return in early February with no issues.

Nightsnorkeler (talk|edits) said:

18 February 2011
Trailman, thanks for that information. I believe I was told about the August/September cut-off for matching the SSA & IRS databases way back around 1991 or 1992. Of course the person at SSA who told me that also could've been blowing smoke.

Thanks again for the correct information.

TaxDude (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2011
OK so I submitted the taxes using her married name, which she didn't change until mid-January, and it was accepted. So obviously Trailman was right - the update must occur frequently.

CrowJD (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2011
Why did she jump the gun like that? Give her a lecture and charge her for special processing.

She's not one of these Russian brides is she?

94nole (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2011
First Name, Maiden (or Former) name, new married name.

Jane Smith marries John Doe.

File the return as Jane Smith Doe with Smith Doe as her last name.

That will also work. This is no different than if she married 5 years ago and STILL hasn't changed her SS card. I've seen it.

TaxDude (talk|edits) said:

25 February 2011
94nole - IRS only looks at the first 4 letters of the last name. It depends on how you input it into your software: Jane (last name Smith Doe) or Jane Smith (last name Doe) So yes, your method works as long as SSA update has occurred.

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