Make Sure Your Social Security Numbers Are Correct

If your tax return has an incorrect or missing social security number, the IRS may increase your tax or reduce your refund. The IRS just announced that it won't tolerate invalid social security numbers for spouses and dependents on 2000 tax returns.

The IRS plans to withhold refunds until social security numbers and name mismatches are corrected. If you file a paper return, you will receive an IRS letter notifying you of the problem. If you file your return electronically, the IRS will not accept the return at all if there are social security number discrepancies.

Last year, the IRS sent notices to 2.7 million spouses whose names and social security numbers did not match the records of the Social Security Administration. The IRS suggests that if you change your surname for any reason, such as marriage or divorce, you should immediately get updated ID cards from the Social Security Administration. The name you use on your tax return should match the name you have on file with the Social Security Administration.

You also need a social security number for all dependents claimed on your return. If you fail to report a valid number for your dependents, it will affect your exemption deduction, child tax credit, dependent care credit, earned income credit, and education credits.

If you need to obtain a social security number or change information, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or online at

If you would like additional information or if you need assistance, please contact the CPAs of Kenneth D. Eichner, P.C. We are here to help you.

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