Still accepting new clients! Call (866) 681-2140

Tax Return Amendment from MFJ to MFS Filing Status

  • Home
  • Tax Return Amendment from MFJ to MFS Filing Status

Tax Return Amendment from MFJ to MFS Filing Status


Taxpayers often find themselves in situations where they need to amend their tax returns for various reasons. One common scenario is changing from a Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) to a Married Filing Separately (MFS) filing status. This decision can have significant implications on a taxpayer’s overall tax liability. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind amending a return to change from MFJ to MFS, the process involved, and the potential impact on tax obligations.

Why Amend from MFJ to MFS?

Married couples typically have the option to choose between filing jointly or separately. While MFJ status often provides certain tax benefits, there are instances where taxpayers might choose to amend their returns to switch to MFS status. Here are some common reasons for making this change:

  • Change in Marital Status: In some cases, a couple might decide to amend their return due to a change in marital status, such as a legal separation or pending divorce. Filing separately in such situations can help avoid potential liability for each other’s tax obligations.
  • Reducing Liability: When one spouse has significant tax liabilities, filing separately can protect the other spouse from being held responsible for those debts. This can be particularly useful when one spouse has unpaid taxes, child support, or other financial obligations.
  • Itemized Deductions: If one spouse has substantial itemized deductions, like medical expenses or miscellaneous deductions, that can only be claimed if one’s income is below the deduction threshold, filing separately might lead to lower income for one spouse and provide a more advantageous tax outcome.
  • Student Loan Payments: Filing separately could be beneficial if one spouse has significant student loan debt and is enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. This way, the monthly payment will be based only on their individual income.
  • Avoiding Joint and Several Liability: When filing jointly, both spouses are jointly liable for any tax, interest, and penalties owed. By amending to MFS, each spouse’s tax liability remains separate, reducing the potential burden on one spouse for the other’s tax burdens.

The Amending Process

To change from MFJ to MFS, taxpayers need to file an amended tax return using IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Gather Documentation: Collect all relevant documents, including original tax return, W-2s, 1099s, and any other income or deduction-related paperwork.
  • Complete Form 1040X: Fill out Form 1040X, indicating the changes you are making and providing explanations for each change. Attach any supporting documentation as required.
  • Calculate Tax Liability: Recalculate the tax liability for each spouse using the MFS filing status. Make sure to use the appropriate tax tables and tax rates for the chosen filing status.
  • Submit the Amended Return: Mail the completed Form 1040X to the IRS address provided in the form’s instructions. Be sure to keep a copy of the amended return, as well as any supporting documents, for your records.

Potential Impact on Tax Obligations

Switching from MFJ to MFS can have varying effects on a taxpayer’s overall tax obligations. While it might provide benefits in certain situations, it’s essential to consider the potential downsides:

  • Loss of Tax Benefits: Some tax credits and deductions, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child and Dependent Care Credit, may be reduced or eliminated when filing separately.
  • Higher Tax Rates: Tax rates for MFS are generally higher compared to MFJ, which could lead to a higher combined tax liability for both spouses.
  • Coordination of Benefits: If one spouse itemizes deductions, the other spouse must also itemize, even if it’s less advantageous for them.
  • Amendment Deadline: When a return is amended from MFJ to MFS status, it generally must be completed before the first deadline without the extension (the deadline is usually April 15).

Reach Out Today

Amending a tax return from MFJ to MFS is a decision that requires careful consideration of both the short-term and long-term financial implications. While there can be valid reasons for making this change, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before proceeding. Luckily, Dimov Tax possesses the experience and expertise in handling such cases and we have helped countless clients reduce their tax liabilities and increase their cash flows. If you need help with such amended returns, feel free to reach out to us below and we will guide you every step of the way.


Need to speak to an expert?

Call us today at (833) 829-1120, email us at, or fill out the form and we’ll get in touch immediately.

"*" indicates required fields

✓ Valid number ✕ Invalid number

Award-winning global customer service.


Dimov Tax is rated 5 stars on all major review platforms including Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, TaxBuzz, Thumbtack, Upwork, Bark, and much more.