There may be an occasion when you wish to switch the taxpayer and spouse on a married filing joint return between being the primary and secondary taxpayer. For example,
- The primary taxpayer passed away during the tax year, so making the spouse the primary will assist in pulling their info forward next year;
- The taxpayers wish to switch the two roles for their own reason.
To assist in the process, you might find it useful to use the Windows Snipping Tool to take a screen shot of the Personal Information window before making the changes. After the changes have been made, this screenshot can help verify that the changes were made correctly.
To change the primary and secondary taxpayer on a MFJ return, from the Main Menu of the tax return (Form 1040) select:
- Personal Information
- Name & Address
- Change the SSN for one of the individuals to a fictitious SSN. All zeros works well.
- Change the SSN for the other individual to the new SSN
- Swap all the remaining personal information between the two spouses, i.e.,
- Dependent on Another Return
- Whether the SSN is not valid for EIC
- Contributing to the Presidential Campaign Fund
- Driver's License information
- Identity Protection PIN
- Finally, change the fictitious SSN to the correct SSN
- Double-check all your work for accuracy
If the return already includes Schedules that specify who the schedule is for, such as C, E, F, and K-1, as well as tax documents that specify who the document is for, such as W-2's and 1099's, revisit each to verify that it is connected to the right individual.