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Taypayer and spouse order change for this year???

josephfolsomcpa
Level 4

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.

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3 Replies 3
The-Tax-Lady
Level 8

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.

josephfolsomcpa
Level 4

Thanks for the reply! 

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jeffmcpa2010
Level 8

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.

 

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