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How to generate the MFJ vs MFS comparison worksheet in Lacerte

SOLVEDby IntuitLacerte Tax136Updated August 23, 2021

To generate the MFJ vs MFS comparison worksheet:

  1. Go to Screen 1, Client Information.
  2. Locate the Filing Status section.
  3. Select Married filing jointly from the Filing Status dropdown menu (if not already selected).
  4. Check the box, MFJ vs MFS Comparison.
    • You'll need to manually check this box to get the comparison. Lacerte doesn't automatically do a comparison for married filing joint returns.
  5. Check the box, Live With Spouse? if the taxpayer lived with the spouse at any time during the year.

To review the worksheet:

  1. Go to the Forms tab.
  2. Scroll down the form list and select MFJ/MFS Wksht.
  3. Review the amounts.
    • If wages and other income or deduction items are being split evenly between the taxpayer and the spouse, then Community Property State might be set to Yes in the settings.

To allocate according to taxpayer rather than having amounts split evenly:

  1. Go to the Settings tab > Options.
  2. Select the Tax Return tab.
  3. Scroll down to the Federal Tax Options section.
  4. Locate the Community Property State option near the end of the section.
  5. Select No from the dropdown menu.

Filing separate tax returns

If you decide to file separate tax returns, you must create two new returns. Refer to Splitting a Married Filing Jointly Return for more information.

Troubleshooting

If the client says that the wages or other items are being split evenly between the Taxpayer (TP) and Spouse (SP) but shouldn't be, review the following:

  1. Go to the Settings tab > Options.
  2. Select the Tax Return tab.
  3. Scroll to the Federal Tax Options section.
  4. Locate the Community Property State option near the end of the section.
    • If this is set to Yes, and the clients are residents of a Community Property State, and the program will split wages evenly between the TP and SP.  
    • If it's set to No, then Lacerte will correctly allocate the wages to the TP and SP.

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