To split returns, follow these steps:
- To split a joint return, open the return and click the Split icon.
- If you view but do not save a split return, it is eliminated when you exit view.
- If you save after splitting a return, both split returns are saved.
- The original joint return is not changed except for the Force itemized and Force standard options on the A screen, which are set if you make those selections on the Deduction Optimization dialog box during the split.
- To eliminate both saved split returns, simply split the original return again and do not save anything. Both saved split returns are deleted when you split a return again and don't save anything. A single split return must be deleted from Tools > File Maintenance > Delete Client Files (see below).
- To view the spouse’s split return, go to Open/Create and enter the spouse’s SSN. The spouse's return may not appear in the Open/Create list of 1040 returns until you have opened it or you have repaired index files (Tools > Repair Index Files > Repair All > Replace current index - Scan client files and add names).
Once you split a return, even if you change the filing status from Single to MFJ and add a Spouse to the return, you CANNOT split that return again.
To open the spouse's MFS return, go to Open/Create and enter their SSN. After calculating, it will appear on the PCM with the MFJ and/or taxpayer's MFS return.
When splitting the returns:
1. Indicate whether items belong to the taxpayer, spouse, or both equally by Selecting T, S or J in the TSJ field at the top of individual screens. This determines how the information on the screen will be split. When you split the return, a T screen goes to the primary taxpayer, S to the spouse and a J screen, when that selection is available, is split evenly between the two.
2. Begin the split. Only a joint return (filing status 2) can be split. To split it into two separate filing status 3 returns, open it and click the Split icon. You can also select a residency status (lived together or apart) from the Split icon drop list (Lived together is the default selection). Both split returns assume the filing status selected, but the joint return is not affected.
3. Optimize the split returns. If the joint return is not set to Force Itemized or Force Standard (on screen A), you see the Deduction Optimization dialog box immediately after clicking the Split icon.
Your choice will have the following effect:
Marks both split returns and the joint return Force Itemize
Marks both split returns and the joint return Force Standard
Marks both split returns the same, either Force Itemize or Force Standard, depending on the lowest total tax liability for both taxpayers. The joint return is not affected.
4. View, compare, print or save the split returns.
Splitting a joint return displays the Return Selector:
a. View and print. Use the selection boxes in the SSN/EIN column to identify which returns to View. (Save and Print functions are not affected by return selection.). In View, you can
1. print a return.
2. use the Next icon to view the next selected return.
b. Save. Click Save to save both split returns (you cannot save only one split return).
1. The split returns need not be saved to view them, but they must be saved and reopened if you want to enter data.
2. The joint return is not affected.Filing Status Optimization Report. To see a summary comparison of the returns, click the Print button (or MFJ/MFS report). (This report is item 350 for billing - Setup > Pricing >1040 forms).
5. Delete split returns.
a. both saved split returns, keeping only the joint return, split the joint return again and do not save the split returns. If you do not save, any existing split returns are removed.
b. only one of the split returns, or to delete the joint return, you must go to Tools > File Maintenance > Delete Client Files. Note the SSNs in the example above – the joint return and the primary taxpayer's split return bear the same SSN. Entering that SSN for deletion prompts you to select between the Individual (the joint return) and Individual (MFS Split) (the split return) that share the same SSN.
It's generally a good idea to back up any client file you intend to delete so the process can be reversed if desired.
Note: If you have two files that are separate already, those files cannot be merged together.