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Ask the Expert: Which name should I use if my names don't match on documents?

My birth certificate and my driver's license both show my first name in Italian. But my financial documents, tax returns and Social Security number all show the English version of my first name. Banks require me to use the name on my birth certificate when opening an account. Will it be a problem when I file my tax return that form 1099-INT shows my first name in Italian? Will the IRS accept the 1099-INT?

There won't be a problem because your Social Security number will be on both your tax return and on form 1099-INT. (Form 1099-INT reports your interest income. But you don't attach your copy of 1099-INT to your tax return. You just report the information on it. The IRS gets its own copy of Form 1099-INT from the bank.)

Situations like yours don't create a problem as long as there's a clear link among the relevant documents. For example, the U.S. Passport Service Guide says that if the first name on your driver's license was Andy and the first name on your birth certificate was Andrew, you could request either first name on your passport. (The final decision on which one to use would be up to the processing agent, however.) The important thing would be making sure you booked all your travel tickets in the name that matched the one in your passport.

Bank requirements for opening an account vary from one institution to another. But many banks want to see two forms of ID, one of which must be government-issued — typically a passport, birth certificate, driver's license or nondriver state ID — when setting up an account.

The bottom line

Your Social Security number is a common link between your financial statements and your tax return.

More information

nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/1099-int-form

nwsdy.li/investopediabankaccounts

TO ASK THE EXPERT Send questions to Ask the Expert/Act 2, Newsday, 6 Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747, or email act2@newsday.com. Include your name, address and phone numbers. Questions can be answered only in this column. Advice is offered as general guidance. Check with your own consultants for your specific needs.

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