Married Women Can Lose Maiden Names-And Money

(WOMENSENEWS)-Many women lost more than their maiden names when they took their husbands' names: money and tax credits. And the problem persists.

Many have lost and stand to lose tax and Social Security benefits because their Social Security numbers do not match their married names on tax returns, according to The Associated Press. The AP reported last week that the IRS sent letters to 2.4 million taxpayers who file joint tax returns. The IRS said the names and Social Security numbers, mostly of married women, did not match.

To clear the mess up, women must provide the Social Security administration with their original marriage certificates-not a photocopy.

Most of the problems involve women who took their husbands' last names. Some married names were entered incorrectly into IRS and Social Security computers. Some names were not entered into the system at all.

Unless taxpayers correct the misinformation with the Social Security Administration, they could be denied earned income tax credit or the personal tax exemption due a spouse who files a joint tax return.

As one woman approached 62, she found that she had no earned Social Security credits because, despite years of filing alone under her married name, the IRS still had listed her under her birth name.