Marriage is one of the life experiences that triggers a need to contact the SSA. If you use your spouse's last name or hyphenate your last name, you need to let officials know.
"That way, the IRS computers can match your new name with your Social Security number," the agency said. "If the name on your tax return doesn’t match SSA records, the IRS will flag it as an error and that may delay your refund."
On the flip side, if you obtained a divorce and went back to using a former last name, you need to let the SSA know for the same reasons.
To file the name change, use Form SS-5, the Application for a Social Security Card. You can obtain the form from a local Social Security office. If you don't want to risk having to stand in line, you can get the form at the Social Security website or by calling (800) 772-1213.
Another event that can trigger the need for paperwork is if you adopted your new spouse's children and their names changed. You need to let the SSA know. For a child without a Social Security number, you also need to notify the IRS. The IRS application for that is Form W-7A, the Application of Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions.