I have a long term client whom the wife has been listed as "taxpayer" for the last 8 years and the husband has been listed as "spouse." The husband has been the primary wage earner for the last 3 years while the wife has only worked part time. They asked me if I they could switch the husband to "taxpayer" and the wife to "spouse" starting with the 2020 tax return. Is there any issues with doing this? I don't want their tax file to get screwed up with the IRS.
Every tax year brings different circumstances. There is no reason why the husband can not be listed as the primary taxpayer and the wife as spouse, that I know about.
Personally, I believe the "Spouse" on the tax return should be done away with and both individuals listed as taxpayers. Amending the return of a divorced couple that filed jointly can be a nightmare because of the "Spouse" designation and their limited abilities to change anything without the "Taxpayers" cooperation.
If they Owe - Go for it, who cares if it takes longer to process.
If they have a refund, I wouldn't be afraid to do it, but I would make sure the client knows that I am not promising that the processing would not be delayed. I don't know that it would be slower, but it seems possible.