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How do I amend Married Filing Separately returns to Married Filing Jointly?

by Intuit Updated 3 months ago

The good news is that you only need to amend one of the returns; the IRS will disregard the other separately-filed return when they receive your amendment.

We suggest amending the one that's more complicated (that way you don't have to re-enter all that info), but it's up to you to decide which one to amend.


You'll need the TurboTax Desktop software to do the amendment. If you filed your 2021, 2022, or 2023 taxes in the online or mobile app version, we'll provide you with the downloadable software when you sign in and follow the amendment procedure (even though returns filed through TurboTax Online can be amended online, changing your married filing status is much easier in the downloadable software).

  1. Follow the directions for the tax year you wish to amend to begin the amendment process.
  2. Install and open the downloadable TurboTax software, if you haven't already done so.
  3. Once you've gotten to the point where you're working in the amend copy of your return (a separate copy for amending, thereby preserving the originally-filed return), select Personal Info and proceed to the Your Personal Info Summary screen.
  4. Scroll down to Your Filing Status and select the corresponding Edit button.
  5. Check the Change my filing status checkbox, choose Married filing jointly, and select Continue.
  6. Keep following any onscreen instructions until you return to the Your Personal Info Summary screen.
  7. Select the Edit button next to your spouse's name and enter any missing information (date of birth, occupation, etc.).
  8. Proceed through the step-by-step interview, adding in any items reported on your spouse's return (W-2s, 1099s, medical expenses, etc.).
  9. When you're done entering your spouse's info, but before you get to the File section, you'll need to enter the refund or taxes paid from your spouse's return:
    1. Switch to Forms.
    2. Open the Original Return Payment Smart Worksheet (if taxes were paid) or the Original Return Overpayment Smart Worksheet (if there was a refund).
    3. Enter the taxes paid or refund on the corresponding worksheet, then switch back to step-by-step interview mode and continue.
  10. When you get to the File section, follow our onscreen instructions to file your return. For tax years 2020 and 2021, you'll need to print and mail your amendment.
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