Social Security Number, Name Change, ITIN, Address


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If you need a new Social Security number or need to make a SSN update or correction, contact the Social Security Administration as they share that data with the IRS. Steps to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification number are also outlined here. If your first or last name changed due to marriage, etc., make sure you complete these important administrative steps as outline below prior to filing a tax return. Your tax return or IRS address change is reported via Form 8822 as listed below.

Make sure your data is up-to-date before you prepare and e-File your current year Tax Return Now by the April IRS Tax deadline. An incorrect SSN number can result in the rejection of your tax returns with the IRS and/or state tax agency.

Tax Return Related SSN, ITIN, or Name Update

On this page, see how to report a name change to the IRS as well as how to update your address with the IRS.

You might need to apply for new social security number from the the Social Security Administration website for a newborn or adopted child or if your spouse is from a foreign country and needs a SSN. Or, you might have to correct your existing social security number with the IRS if they have an incorrect SSN on file for your tax account.

Apply for a New or Update a SSN

SSN for newborn child:  You should register any new family member (new born child, adopted child, etc.) with the Social Security Administration. With this, you might be able to claim your child as a dependent on your federal or state tax return. To apply for a new Social Security card or to change the information on an existing card, download and file SSA Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. Visit the SSA - Social Security Administration for more information.

SSN for an adopted Child: If you have adopted or began the process of adopting a child, your child may not yet have been assigned a Social Security Number. If this is the case, you will be assigned an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) to use in place of your child's SSN on your current year Tax Return. The ATIN may be used to claim credits, deductions, and/or expenses for dependents, but it may not be used to claim a qualifying child for the purposes of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Learn more about about dependents and future education tax-savings for your child, deductions or savings for foster children or the adoption tax credit. If you are single and pregnant, learn about different topics related to taxes and potentially filing as Head of Household.

New Social Security Number, you, spouse etc. SSN Application Instructions - PDF.

The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number - ITIN - is a number issued by the IRS to process a tax return. The IRS issues an ITIN to an individual who is required to have a United States taxpayer identification number but who does not have or might not be eligible for a Social Security number or SSN. An ITIN is issued because a U.S. citizen, resident and nonresident alien might have to file an Income Tax Return in the US. The ITIN is ONLY used for the purpose of IRS tax reporting and does not authorize a person to work in the U.S. or as a qualification for a dependent for the Earned Income Tax Credit - EITC or to provide eligibility for Social Security benefits.

Follow these steps on how to prepare a tax return on and then apply for an ITIN.

Generally, the following are individuals without a SSN who are not eligible to obtain one, but are required to e-File or file an IRS tax return:

  • Dependent or spouse of a U.S. citizen or resident alien
  • Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder
  • U.S. resident alien who is filing a U.S. tax return based on days present in the United States
  • Nonresident alien who is required to file a U.S. tax return
  • Nonresident alien claiming a foreign tax treaty benefit
  • Nonresident alien student, researcher, academic, professor etc. filing a U.S. tax return or claiming an exception.

See also: IRS Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

How do I know if my ITIN is expired?

Attention ITIN applicants or holders: If your ITIN expired in the current tax year, start the renewal process as soon as possible. A tax return with an expired ITIN will be processed and considered filed on time on or before Tax Day, however, it will be processed without any exemptions and/or credits claimed and no refund will be paid at that time. You will receive a letter from the IRS explaining the delay in any tax refund stating that the ITIN has expired.

Apply for an ITIN with Form W-7

Report a Name Change to the IRS

Your name change will get reported with the Social Security Administration who then shares this information with the IRS. To change your name with the Social Security Administration, you will need to complete and mail SSA Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card.

This all can happen if you got married and you have not changed the name on your Social Security card to your married name, for example. Or, if your Form W-2 has your maiden name, but your tax forms should have your married name. The question is, should you file with your maiden name or married name?

You have a choice - you can file with your maiden name and then contact the Social Security Administration. Or, if you have enough time before the due date of your return, you can contact the Social Security Administration and have your records changed. In this case, wait at least 10 days to file your tax return.

If you were married or divorced during the tax year and changed your name, make sure that the name on your tax return matches the name registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If they do not match, your tax refund could be delayed.

Did you get married and your name changed? The name on your refund check will be spelled the way it appears on your tax return. If the address label you receive is spelled wrong, do not use the label. Instead, legibly print the correct information yourself. You can also call 1-800-829-1040 and the IRS can correct the spelling of your name over the phone, or visit the Social Security Administration website.

Learn more about how marriage affects your taxes.

When you file your current year Return, make sure the name on your federal and state tax return will match the name and SSN registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the names and SSN's do not match, your tax refund could be delayed.

IRS Mailing Address Change

If you have moved and your address has changed since your last tax return, click and complete Address Change Form 8822 and mail it in - the address is on the form. You can not eFile this form!

If you need to notify the IRS to ensure you receive your current IRS tax refund check in the mail, we strongly encourage you to use free direct bank refund deposit as the address change might not go into effect immediately. Regardless, do not postpone submitting Form 8822. Contact your state tax agency as well.

Important: If your address changes after you file your return, you should notify the post office that services your old address. This ensures that your mail will be forwarded (not all post offices automatically forward government checks). To change your address with the IRS, complete Form 8822, Address Change Request. When done, sign, download, and mail the form to the IRS address listed on the PDF file.

If you want to inform the IRS of your change of address, they will need your full name, old and new addresses, your Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number, and a signature. If you filed a joint return, you must provide the information and signatures for both spouses. If you filed a joint return and you and your spouse have established separate residences, you should both notify the IRS of your new addresses. Not sure about your filing status? Use this free STATucator to determine your situation quickly.

Learn more about dependents and future education tax-savings for your child. If you are single and pregnant, learn about different topics related to taxes and potentially filing as Head of Household.