Dear IRS, I swear I am who I say I am!
November 19, 2013 12:25 PM   Subscribe

My legal name and gender change court order will be finalized in late January and I will immediately go and change my SSA, DMV, and birth cert information. My W2 will probably arrive before I can get my new documents to my HR department. Will this cause problems filing my taxes? What should I expect and prepare for? I'm in California and use Turbotax.
posted by blnkfrnk to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think it will cause any problems at all.

But to be safe, call the IRS. 800-829-1040.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:28 PM on November 19, 2013

You'll still have the same social security number, so I'd guess any hurdles could be ironed out quickly.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

The IRS is pretty unconcerned about this sort of thing. When I changed my name (not gender, true, but hopefully your experience is similar) I got zero crap from almost every institution except the airlines (who were all afraid I was scamming frequent flyer miles, and totally unconcerned about things like terrorism). In general, I found that the more important the paperwork, the less of a problem changing my name was. The small stuff -- changing my gym membership -- is where it was a major PITA. The IRS is likely to fall into the former category.
posted by Capri at 2:06 PM on November 19, 2013

I changed my name and gender a few years ago and taxes were not a problem. If I remember right there is a question about previous names.

(Though that might have one of the many other forms I had to fill out during this process. It's a pain. MeMail me if I might be able to help.)
posted by rip at 8:11 PM on November 19, 2013

Taxes are all tied to your Social Security number, basically. I've, er, managed to spell my name wrong on my Illinois taxes and my brother's W-2 had the wrong middle initial last year.

A quick google suggests you do want to make sure you name is changed with Social Security before filing your taxes and give it a week or two for the change to make it to the IRS.

Also, you can be a little pro-active and see what your employer requires to change your name in their records. It may only be the court order, in which case there's maybe a chance you'd beat the printing of the W-2s. (I know my university/current employer demands a Social Security card for any name changes (and doesn't want to see the court order), but I don't know if that's for FAFSA reasons, tax reasons or some random rule they made up.)
posted by hoyland at 8:12 PM on November 19, 2013

The biggest problem that you may face is that you may receive your tax return (if you're getting a live check instead of direct deposit) as a check made out to your former legal name. Hang on to your certified copy of your name change form and it'll be no problem beyond the awkwardness at the bank.
posted by cheerwine at 8:27 PM on November 19, 2013

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