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TurboTax Help

Does it matter whose name goes first on a joint return?

It's not important whose name goes first — at least not to the government — but what does matter is being consistent with each subsequent return you file.

When you file your first tax return together, decide whose name should go first and then stick with it per the IRS 1040 instructions, which read:

"If you filed a joint return for 2019 and you're filing a joint return for 2020 with the same spouse, be sure to enter your names and SSNs in the same order as on your 2019 return."

Changing the established name order isn't the end of the world, but it could result in processing delays for your taxes.

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