Fed e-file return rejected - married filing separately - SSN - paper file?

Good morning,

I tried to e-file yesterday and got an error. I was legally separated from early Jan.2022, so both my ex and I need to file married filing separately as the NC divorce process takes over a year. My ex says her return went through. This message appears to suggest that a paper filing may be required. Does anyone know? Here is the error message after trying to e-file the Fed return via Turbotax.

Let’s take a look at your return

Description of error:

For the filing status selected in the return, the Primary SSN in the Return Header must not be the same as the Spouse SSN on another return for the same tax year with filing status Married filing separately.

What needs to be done:

This return has been rejected by the IRS because the taxpayer’s Social Security Number (SSN) has been listed as the spouse SSN on another tax return with filing status Married Filing Separately. Verify that the taxpayer’s SSN has been entered correctly. If the taxpayer’s SSN is accurate and if it has been listed as the spouse SSN on another tax return for the current tax year, review the taxpayer’s filing status. The filing status on this return cannot be Single, Married Filing Jointly, or Qualifying Widower. If you feel that this reject has been received in error, and you do not want to change the taxpayers filing status, you may print and file by mail.

Any help would be appreciated.


The “what needs to be done” section seems to indicate that the filing status is MFJ, not MFS. So check your filing status and make sure that it’s MFS and didn’t default to MFJ when you imported your prior year info because that’s what you filed for 2021.

The other thing to confirm with your spouse is whether she itemized or used the standard deduction. Both returns must use the same type of deduction.

You both should be able to e-file MFS.