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Don’t play ‘Name game’ with newly wed employees

by on
in Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q. One of our employees recently got married. She’s informally going by her new last name, but she hasn’t changed her name on her Social Security card to her married name and doesn’t plan to. We submit all payroll information using her maiden name. Do we face any liability? —L.K., Missouri

A. No, you have no other obligation as long as the employee truly isn’t legally changing her name after marriage. The key issue is that employees’ names must accurately match payroll and tax records. So, if you know that an employee has legally changed her name because of marriage (or for other reasons), she must provide new information, such as a new Social Security card or other document establishing eligibility to work. If the employee refuses, apply an indefinite suspension pending receipt of the accurate documentation.

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