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Tracking employee name changes

January 30, 2013

Frequently Asked Question: If a female employee gets married and asks you to start issuing paychecks in her married name, what are the record-keeping responsibilities of your business?

Answer: When an employee has an official name change for marriage or any reason, the employee needs to:

  • Present you with a new signed Social Security card, issued in the correct name. Make a copy of this for your payroll records.
  • Fill out a new W-4 Form, reflecting the change in name, marital status and withholding allowances.

It is the employee’s responsibility to provide this information before a paycheck can be issued in her new name. This ensures that taxes are properly credited to the employee’s account, and that quarterly and year-end reports match the records of the Social Security Administration and the IRS.

A newly-married employee may also want to make beneficiary changes on a life insurance plan and may need to fill out an enrollment change form to add the spouse to a health insurance plan.

More questions?  Use SBAM’s Ask an Expert service!

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