Hello Fellow Taxpayers,
Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a Coke, but the server said that they only had Pepsi? Unless you are my lovely wife who actually does not like Pepsi, do you usually say “Whatever”? Well, your name is very important when dealing in the tax game. When a client comes in, specifically a new client, they fill out the client profile and provide me with their driver’s license. We always ask for a copy of the social security cards of all members of the household that will be included in the tax return, but you know how that goes, not everyone has it available. So what’s the big deal if the social security number is incorrect and doesn’t match the name… Keep reading, dear taxpayer!
Well, my friends, it is a big deal when it comes to electronically filing a tax return. If the name (at least the first four letters of the last name) is not exact, the return will be rejected. I have seen this with the taxpayers, their children or other dependents. This often happens after marriage, after a divorce or any life-changing event. It also occurs quite often in the Hispanic culture as individuals use multiple names, surnames, mother’s maiden name, etc. They could be quite long, and their children’s last name could be slightly different than their own. Very common!
Neither the IRS or your tax professional is to blame when the return is rejected for a name/social mismatch. The first thing that the IRS does when they receive an electronically filed return is to check the name against the social. Check with whom you may ask? Well, the Social Security Administration (SSA). Many newly married couples think they officially changed their last name, but they do so with their employer, the state/county licensing agency or even DMV, but do not make the change with the SSA, and that is where it counts. It is an important distinction, not only for tax filing but for getting credit for social security.
If you know of any newlyweds, make them aware of this, preferably before they see their tax pro.
So until next time
Jeffrey “A Rose by Any Other Name” Schneider