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Divorce, name changes can add to tax filing

For many people, getting a divorce means a change in tax filing status. On top of filing taxes differently after a divorce, some people go through name changes. These changes need to be properly documented with the Social Security Administration so that your tax documents can be filed.

Without a name that matches your Social Security number, your taxes returns could be delayed, and get quite complicated. That's why it is important to understand how your taxes will change after a divorce. Many times, tax filing information can be included in a divorce decree so each person knows how their divorce will change their filing and who will be paying what.

If you get a name change after a divorce, you will have to fill out an SS-5 form with the Social Security Administration. This form, entitled Application for a Social Security Card, will allow the administration to issue you a new Social Security Card with your new name and same Social Security number.

Once you have this, you can accurately file your taxes with the IRS. This change with the Social Security Administration is key in making sure your name matches your number allowing the IRS computers to find and file your tax return. It might be wise to speak with a divorce attorney and an accountant regarding changes to your tax situation. An attorney might be able to help word your divorce decree so there aren't any surprises once it is time to file taxes.

Source: Patch, "5 Tips for Recently Married or Divorced Taxpayers With a Name Change," Jan. 30, 2012