For the past 3 months, I have been trying to get all of my documents together to file my taxes. It is not going well. I am having a ludicrously difficult time getting documents in the first place, let alone getting documents in the right name. The documents I have gotten have almost entirely listed my dead name and getting anyone to correct it is frequently a bureaucratic nightmare. To make matters worse, my tax accountant and his company got really weird about my name change and have started acting passive-aggressively ever since. It’s been pretty rough.
Back in January, I reached out to my tax accountant and his firm to let them know about my name change. I have worked with the same advisor since I started working, he has always been easy to work with and fairly affordable. I ended up speaking to his receptionist to have her update my name in their systems. She got hostile immediately. She informed me that she had no idea how to update my name in the system since this had never happened before. She didn’t know how to help me and she doubted the accountant would know how to deal with this. I ended up just sending her a scan of the name change and a few days later got a brief email notifying me that the system had been updated.
A week later I received a tax organizer for me to fill out and return. In spite of receiving confirmation of the name change, the organizer had been pre-filled throughout with my deadname. I reached out asking for an updated version with my current name but was rebuffed. The receptionist was insistent that it was my fault for not letting them know earlier and refused to update it. Instead, I was told to white out my deadname wherever it appeared and just write my current name in its place. According to her, I would get a version with my current name next year and would just have to deal until then. I don’t think I will be using this accountant next year.
Besides feuding with my accountant over my name change, I have also struggled to get my tax documents in order. Last year, I made a concerted effort to update my name with every company and organization that would give me a tax document. I missed a couple, but I managed to change it with the vast majority. This did not matter in the slightest, because several still sent me documents with my deadname. This was incredibly irritating, but most were willing to quickly correct it, especially if my current name was already on file. The one exception was my previous employer. I changed my name with their HR in January, but according to them, this was never communicated to payroll. I spent nearly 2 months calling and leaving messages trying to get in contact with anyone at payroll. A few weeks ago I was finally able to speak with someone, who informed me that they had no record of my name change and refused to correct the W2 until I got HR to send them the update. It took until today for them to agree to send me an updated version of the W2, and they couldn’t even confirm that the name would be correct. This single form took 3 months to get corrected and I don’t even know if it is right yet.
I have been trying to get my taxes in order since January and things are only now starting to come together. To even get this far, I had to repeatedly deal with passive-aggressiveness and some incredible rudeness from both my accountant and my previous employer. I still don’t know if the W2 they mailed to me today has actually been corrected, they couldn’t guarantee that it had my current name. It shouldn’t be this hard to receive or update my required documents, but it was frequently a convoluted ordeal. No one actually had systems in place for addressing name changes, so instead, I was forced through jury-rigged processes by confused payroll and HR employees. In 2022, it shouldn’t be this difficult. Businesses should have systems and procedures in place to address these circumstances, but if my experience is any indication, most do not.