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What To Do After an Employee Name Change

Employee name changes are a common part of HR maintenance. An employee's name is a crucial part of the payroll process, so it is important to ensure payroll records always match the Social Security Administration's records. When an employee notifies you of a name change, there are several steps you should take to ensure your records stay up to date.

1. Request a copy of the employee's new Social Security card. Update your payroll system to match the name displayed on the card. This will prevent W-2 mismatch errors at the end of the year.

2. Have the employee complete a new W-4, reflecting their new name. This is also an opportunity for the employee to update their withholding status if the name change is due to marriage.

3. While not required, it is recommend you update Form I-9 to reflect the name change. A new form isn't necessary, instead you can complete field A of Section 3 with the new name and sign at the bottom of the form.

4. If the name change is due to marriage or other qualifying event, the employee may need to update their benefits paperwork to add or remove a dependent or change their beneficiary information.

5. Update any company items reflecting the employee's name, such as email addresses, name badges, business cards, company phone lists, etc.

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