Can the IRS Ask for a Copy of My Marriage Certificate?

by Amanda Erickson

The Internal Revenue Service is privy to the intimate details of your life, including your marriage status. Though it is rare for the IRS to request your marriage certificate, the agency might need to verify your joint filing, get background information for a full audit or need proof of your name change after marriage. If the IRS asks for a copy of your marriage certificate, you will have to comply.

Find an original, certified copy of your marriage certificate. Include the certificate with any other requested information and forms. Before you submit your certificate, make copies to have on hand in case the certificate is lost or damaged in transit.

Mail your marriage certificate to the IRS. Use certified mail so you can track the document. That way you will be notified when it arrives.

Call the IRS if you do not receive your marriage certificate when the agency returns your other materials.

Tip

  • In some instances, you will be chosen for an extensive audit known as the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program. During this audit, the IRS collects data to update its computer scoring program. You must provide proof for every part of your tax return. In addition to providing a marriage certificate, you need to include a birth certificate, proof of employment and proof of any deductions.

Warning

  • If your married name is different than your maiden name, you will need to submit your marriage certificate to the Social Security Administration, along with an SS-5 form. You must do this to change your name with the SSA before you file your taxes with your new name.

About the Author

Amanda Erickson has been writing professionally since 2008. She has written for the "New York Times," "Christian Science Monitor" and "Chronicle of Higher Education." Before moving to New York, she worked as a political blogger at the "Washington Post." Erickson holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban history from Columbia University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images