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Steven Weinstein, Esq
Steven Weinstein, Esq, Tax Attorney
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Experience:  16 Years Practicing Law. Specialty experience includes, tax, estate planning, & retirement planning
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I got married last year and changed my name. My W-2 was ...

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I got married last year and changed my name. My W-2 was issued in my maiden name. I asked my employer to correct it. They told me it was okay, but the W-2 form says to ask for a correction. Who is right?

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Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Steven Weinstein, Esq replied 10 years ago.
YOu really do not need to worry about. The most important thing on your w-2 is a correct social security number.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I appreciate your answer.

What I don't understand is the following:

The back of the W-2 states -

"Corrections. If your name, SSN, or address is incorrect, correct Copies B, C, and 2 and ask your employer to correct your employment record. Be sure to ask the employer to file Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to correct any name, SSN, or money amount error reported to the SSA on Form W-2."

Further, this website details why it is important.

Googling found this option, if your employer refuses to make the correction.

If your attempts to have an incorrect Form W-2 (PDF) corrected by your employer are unsuccessful and it is after February 15th, contact the IRS at(NNN) NNN-NNNN An IRS representative can initiate a Form W-2 (PDF) complaint. Form 4598, Form W-2 or 1099 Not Received or Incorrect, will be sent to the employer and a copy will be sent to you along with Form 4852 (PDF), Substitute for Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, or Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. The copy that the employer receives will advise him or her of the employer's responsibilities to provide a correct Form W-2 (PDF) and of the penalties for failure to do so.

Why all of the preceding if it isn't such a big deal? The W-2 itself states that the employer should file a W-2c. The IRS website states that the employer is subject to liability if they don't file a W-2c.

I recognize the IRS will probably track my return information by SSN, but according to at least one of the links I posted there is at least the possibility of Social Security earnings not attaching to the name/SSN.

I guess my underlying question is: in the face of all of these cautionary documents (including the W-2 itself) -- why is there nothing saying its okay to let it go besides your word and the word of my employer?
Expert:  Steven Weinstein, Esq replied 10 years ago.
Well, the reality is you had a name change not that your employer put down the wrong w-2. You can absolutely have your employer change it for you. But what I am telling you is if thats a problem or the employer just does not think its necessary. Its not a big deal, the IRS inputs everything by SS#. Your w-2 will get logged just fine.

Just tell your employer would like your name change reflecting properly thoughout 06.
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