Steps to avoid a name mismatch audit

If you changed your name for any reason during the past year, you will need to file Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to notify them of the name change before you submit your 2017 tax return. The IRS will match the first few letters of your last name with your social security number on file with the SSA. If a mismatch occurs, there may be several potential consequences, including being denied the option to e-file your tax return. Also, the IRS may deem your income as taxable, but then disallow any deductions or they may send you a notice of taxes owed and underpayment penalties.

Here are the steps you should take to avoid this headache.

1) Before you file your 2017 tax return, complete Form SS-5, which is available at Be prepared to provide proof of citizenship as well as documents that show your previous name and new name.

2) Double check the W-2 you received from your employer to ensure the name change was made correctly. Once verified, confirm that the SSA has been notified as well.

3) Update other important documents and accounts to reflect your name change.

If you cannot file the name change in a timely manner, use the name on file at the Social Security Administration and with your employer when you file your 2017 taxes. This will help you avoid receiving a notice of a name mismatch from the IRS.

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