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Member I

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

So my wife as a really long last name (25 characters), which exceeds 20 characters. This is her name on the Social Security Card, there`s nothing we can do to change.

 

Now, I can`t abbreviate her last name, as it doesn`t match IRS files and is rejected and returned. I also cannot write down her real last name as the tool does not allow me. What to do?

 

On a second note: If IRS allows people to have last names longer than 20 characters, why on earth Turbo Tax imposes that limit? It is an arbitrary number that only screws up my life. Not a customer that will come back next year if I have to paper file it.

 

8 Comments
TurboTax Specialist

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

The IRS should not reject because the characters cutoff. This is a common occurrence. Just enter what you can. The IRS identifies with social security numbers and a truncated name should not cause any issues.

Member I

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

Thanks Paula,

 

To my shame, after I printed everything, I noticed I put a wrong SSN number for my wife. Since I had already clicked on "file by mail" I had to use the tip on this article "Can`t Edit my taxes". I clicked on "add new state" as instructed, updated the SSN for the correct number, and submitted again with a truncated name. Hope that works Smiley Happy

 

Thanks for the quick reply.

TurboTax Specialist

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

You are welcome Smiley Happy

Member I

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

It did not work, though. I`ll have to print it and send it over mail Smiley Sad

TurboTax Specialist

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

Actually, you should still be able to e-file, even if your wife's complete name is too long to enter.  The IRS scans the first five letters of each name (first and last) to the social security number.

 

Type as much of her name that you can fit and you should be fine.  Confirm that your tax return isn't being rejected for another reason.

 

Keep us posted!  

Catalyst V

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

Actually, IRS cross matches the first 4 letters of the last name and doesn't cross match first names or middle initials all.

Member I

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

Interesting point. So in a name as in:

First: Janejane

Last: Doedoe Onehundred Twohundred 

 

The system check would be:

SSN: Total  --> Match

First: J a n e j --> Match

Last: D o e D o --> Match

is that it?

 

I filed over mail this time, but I want to learn how to file electronically next year 

 

Catalyst V

Last Name exceeds 20 Characters

Yes, as long as Social Security has Doedoe Onehundred Twohundred shown as the "last" name...usually (on newer cards) the "last" name is on line 2 of the SS card.

 

When someone has multiple middle or last names, sometimes Social Security has the wrong name showing as "last".

If the SS card shows 

Janejane Doedoe <-- line 1

Onehundred Twohundred <-- line 2

 

then Onehundred Twohundred is the "last" name.