Can I File Taxes With My Maiden Name?

Getting married can come with a lot of decisions. That makes sense when you’re planning a wedding and a future together. From ordering flowers to updating financial information, you’ve got a lot to do. If you’re a bride who’s keeping her last name or one who hasn’t had time to get it changed, you may be wondering, “Can I file taxes with my maiden name?”

The good news is yes, you can file your taxes with your maiden name. The tax form provides separate lines for each spouse’s name and Social Security number. You should file using the name that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has on file for you.

What if you’re planning a name change or it’s in progress? You’ll need to notify the SSA of your name change before you file your return. Be sure to leave enough time to do this. The SSA application states that it will mail updated cards 7-14 days after you submit your documentation.

Can I File Jointly While Married With a Different Last Name Than My Spouse?

Having different last names is not a factor in which filing status you can choose. As mentioned above, IRS tax forms provide separate lines for each spouse’s name and Social Security number.

What does determine your filing status options? Because you’re filing taxes for the previous year, the IRS will look at your marital status on the last day of the year, Dec. 31.  If you married after the start of the new year, you’ll have one more tax filing using the single filing status.

If you were married by Dec. 31 of the previous year (the year for which you’re filing your return), you can choose married filing jointly or married filing separately, even if you have different last names. Generally, most married taxpayers have a better tax outcome when filing jointly.

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