Splitting Joint Returns

You can split an Individual return with a status of Married Filing Jointly into separate returns for the taxpayer and spouse. The joint return remains with the original input. Each of the split returns has a status of Married Filing Separately.

Example: The taxpayer and spouse file a joint federal return. But, they reside in different states and require separate returns for state filing purposes.

Tip: Before splitting a return, verify whether you will use the joint return client ID or a different ID for the spouse return. If you will use the joint return client ID, we recommend the joint return be reasonably finalized before splitting. Repeatedly splitting new versions of the joint return can consume the maximum number of nine versions for the tax year. If you will use a new client ID, you must be granted the Add new client when creating new return functional right.

To split a joint return, do the following:

  1. Open the joint return you want to split. Verify the Spouse Social Security Number is entered in the return and that the return has been calculated.
  2. Click in the Activity group on the Manage tab.
  3. Click Yes to confirm splitting the return.
  4. Note: If common client data in the return is different from the data in the client profile, you are prompted to apply or bypass the updates in the profile. See Updating Common Client Data for more information.

  5. Do one of the following:
    • First split. If this is the first time the return has been split, enter the client ID and, if applicable, sub-ID for the spouse return. You can enter the client ID of the joint return, provided there are fewer than 9 existing versions in the tax year for that ID.
      • New client ID. Click OK to display the Add Client window. For help in setting up a client, see Returns for a New Client. After you have added the new client, click OK to create the split return.
      • Existing client ID. Click OK to create the split return.
    • Previously split. If this is not the first time the return has been split, select to overwrite the previously split returns or to create a new return version, and then click OK. A client can have up to nine versions in a tax year.
  6. When the split is complete, you have the following two options for ending the process:
    • Click Print Report to document the split and end the process. ClosedExplain what is in the report.
    • Click Close to end the process without printing the report.