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heshen
Returning Member

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

I want to create a new tax scenario using Married Filing Separately, but it seems that it isn't as simple as changing the Filing Status field on the Personal Info page. Do you need two separate TurboTax accounts to accomplish this? If so, how do I "remove" my spouse from my return in the software and file hers separately? can I do this all in the software?

7 Replies
Texas Roger
Level 15

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

You can only prepare and file one tax return using the online product. To prepare Married Filing Separately returns for each spouse, you must have two TurboTax accounts. One account for each spouse. 

DoninGA
Level 15

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

Yes, you would need two separate accounts to file as Married Filing Separately using the TurboTax online editions - https://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/online/

To change your current tax return from MFJ to MFS and you have already entered all of your spouse's tax data, it would be simpler to just clear the return and start over.

 

If you have not paid for the online edition you are using, have not filed your tax return or registered the Free edition, then you can clear your return and start over. Click on Tax Tools on the left side of the program screen while working on the 2019 online tax return. Click on Clear & Start Over.

heshen
Returning Member

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

What if I am using TurboTax Deluxe software edition? I purchased this product to file.

DoninGA
Level 15

Trying to switch Filing Status using software


@heshen wrote:

What if I am using TurboTax Deluxe software edition? I purchased this product to file.


See this TurboTax support FAQ to compare MFJ with MFS when using the desktop editions - https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/married/help/how-can-we-compare-married-filing-jointly-with-marrie...

VolvoGirl
Level 15

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

If you are using the Desktop program installed on your computer you can make as many tax returns as you want.  You can start another new return, go up to FILE-NEW.  You can copy your first return to test tin, Go to FILE - SAVE AS or Duplicate and give it another name.  There is a What-If worksheet you can use.

 

Go to Forms Mode, click Forms in the upper right or on the left for Mac. Then click Open Forms box in the top of the column on the left. Open the US listing of forms and towards the bottom find the What-if worksheet. It's right under Estimated Taxes.

 

Or try…Go into Forms View. Once there, at the top of the left column, click on the icon for "Open Form". A popup window will appear. In the text line, type the word "what" without quotes. You should see "what-if worksheet" appear as a selection choice. Double-click it to launch the form.

 

Why are you switching?  Do you just want to test?  Or do you need to file Joint for Federal but Separate for states?  

heshen
Returning Member

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

@VolvoGirl  I am trying to “test” out what the return would look like if I used MFS instead of MFJ. I filled out the return using MFJ initially, now just want to see which status makes the most sense.

VolvoGirl
Level 15

Trying to switch Filing Status using software

Sure.  That's what the Desktop program is good for ltesting.  Like I said there is the What-If worksheet to test that in.  But here's some info on Joint vs MFS

 

Unless you have a specific reason to file separate returns,
It is usually better to file Joint. Joint has the lowest tax rates and the highest Standard Deduction. And if you are in a Community Property state MFS gets tricky to figure out. Here's some things to consider about filing separately……

 

Many people think they come out better when filing Married Filing Separate but they are probably doing it wrong. If one person itemizes deductions then the other one must itemize too, even if it's less than the standard deduction, even if it is ZERO!

 

And there are several credits you can't take when filing separately, like the
EITC Earned Income Tax Credit
Child Care Credit
Educational Deductions and Credits

And contributions to IRA and ROTH IRA are limited when you file MFS.

Also if you file Married Filing Separately up to 85`% of your Social Security becomes taxable right away even with zero other income.


See …….
https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/married/help/is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-...

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