The married couple got divorced. What do I do? (Lacerte)

If a couple has filed jointly in Lacerte and has divorced, they must separate their tax records. This process, known as "splitting the joint return," is crucial for maintaining accurate and independent files for each post-divorce. This guide will walk you through splitting a joint tax return in Lacerte and ensuring that each individual's tax information is correctly routed and stored in SmartVault as separate entities. Follow these steps to manage this transition efficiently and maintain the integrity of your client records.

Splitting the Joint Record in Lacerte

  1. In Lacerte, identify the joint return to be split.
  2. Unlock the client if it is locked.
  3. Select the client and go to Tools > Split Joint Return.
  4. Select Proceed with the Split.
  5. Important: Choose two NEW client IDs, ensuring they are unique. This is a common point of error.
  6. Click OK. This step will create two new client records while keeping the joint return intact.
Split Joint Return - Lacerte.gif

Creating New Clients in SmartVault After a Split

After splitting a joint return in Lacerte, you must create separate client profiles in SmartVault for each individual. You have two options to accomplish this:

  1. Importing Clients Using the SmartVault Launchpad:
      • Open the SmartVault Launchpad.
      • Click Import Data.
      • Select the Source to Import: "Intuit Lacerte TY" and click Next.
      • Select the types of clients to import and click Next
      • Select the Clients to import by holding the Ctrl key on your keyboard. 
      • Click Finish and then Exit.
    Importing New Clients After Split.gif
  2. Printing Individual Returns from Lacerte:
      • Open the SmartVault Connected Desktop. This step is crucial to ensure correct integration for the subsequent steps.
      • In Lacerte, navigate to each newly created client profile resulting from the split.
      • Use the print function to send their tax returns directly into SmartVault. This action creates a digital record of each return in the client's new vault.
    Printing Returns after Split.gif
  3. Verify New Client profiles in SmartVault: In the Connected Desktop, verify that each client's tax return has been correctly routed and stored in their new individual vaults within SmartVault. This verification step is essential to ensure that each client's data is accurately segregated and stored in their dedicated space, reflecting their new status post-divorce.
    Verifying new client profiles in SmartVault after split.gif


  • If two clients with different email addresses have access to the joint return, they will continue to have access.
  • Invite the two new clients using their email addresses to provide access to their vaults in SmartVault.
  • A common mistake is renaming the joint return instead of splitting it in Lacerte, which can lead to incorrect routing in SmartVault. Follow the outlined steps to ensure proper handling.
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