Today is "Learn What Your Name Means Day."
Honestly. I am not making this up.
While I couldn't find the official "Learn What Your Name Means Day" Web page, I did find a couple of sites (here and here) that noted today's observance. And I heard about the commemoration from John Aielli on his KUT radio program Eklektikos, so I'm running with it.
My name is a nickname for Katherine and all its many spellings. As I mentioned in an earlier post (Name calling), that sort of fits how my mother (and grandmother) came up with Kay.
I like it. And I like how it works with my last name -- Kay Bell -- punchy, to the point, no nonsense. So I kept it even after hubby and I tied the knot.
That meant I didn't have to hassle with changing my name with the Social Security Administration. But a lot of women do. And that brings us to today's tax tip.
Name changes and your taxes: The IRS reminds both newlyweds and recently divorced women to make sure the name on their tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
If it doesn't match, expect some tax troubles, ranging from a delayed tax refund to disallowed deductions and credits.
When a new wife and husband file a joint return with her new name and it isn't verified by the SSA, the IRS computers will not be able to match her new surname and tax ID number. So the return gets kicked out of the processing loop.
The same applies the other way, too. After a divorce, a woman who had officially taken her husband's name but now is again using her maiden moniker needs to let the SSA that she's reassumed her previous name.
By the way, that reminds me. Today also is Alimony Equality Day.
You can inform the SSA of a name change simply by filing Form SS-5 at a local SSA office. It usually takes two weeks to have the change verified. More information on marriage, divorce and name changes can be found at this SSA Web page, or you can call toll-free 1-800-772-1213. You can find your nearest local SSA office by using this online locator.
Don't forget the kiddies: Remember, too, that all dependents listed on your tax return must have a Social Security number.
For adopted children without Social Security numbers, parents can apply for an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number, or ATIN, by filing Form W-7A with the IRS. The ATIN is a temporary number used in place of the Social Security number on the tax return. If you want a W-7A mailed to you, call 1-800-829-3676.
If you have any name issues and don't take care of them before filing your taxes, you won't need a special day to learn what your name means.
It'll mean a big hassle and potentially lost tax money.