Tax Byte

with Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.

MFJ Payment Glitch Reminder

Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.

Jessica L. Jeane, J.D.

VP, Tax Policy & Strategic Partnerships

Considering final 2022 quarterly estimated tax payments are right around the corner, it seems like a good time to remind your clients of the IRS’s married filing jointly (MFJ) payment glitch. You know, the one where the “secondary” spouse makes a payment to the IRS, yet it doesn’t get credited to their joint account?

GLITCHES GET STITCHES: The so-called “unwritten rule” requiring that taxpayers who file jointly must make all payments in the name and social of the “primary” taxpayer is again making headlines this week. Generally, because of the IRS’s MFJ payment glitch of sorts, if a spouse who is second on the joint return makes a balance due or estimated tax payment in their name, the IRS’s system will not credit the payment to the joint account. While tax pros generally know how this goes, many of their clients do not.

WHAT’S IRS SAYING: As the IRS noted in a statement last July, it is aware that erroneous balance due (CP-14 notices) were being issued because of the programming glitch. When certain payments are processed, IRS programming does not move the payment to the married filing jointly account when the payment is:
  • not electronic and is made by the secondary spouse;
  • electronic, is made by the secondary spouse, and posts before the joint return indicator is present to identify the primary taxpayer; and
  • made by the secondary spouse using the Online Account (OLA) Make a Payment functionality.
Western CPE reached out to the IRS on January 5 for an update on its progress toward remedying the issue. We’ll be sure to let you know more once we do.


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