WASHINGTON—When calculating federal income taxes, it makes absolutely no difference which spouse is listed first on a joint tax return. An opposite-sex couple can put the man’s name first, start with the woman’s name, list them in order of income, go alphabetically or begin with the spouse who woke up earlier last Tuesday. It literally doesn’t matter one cent.
But there are two lines for names on Form 1040. Somebody has to go first, and somebody has to go second. Maybe knowing something about the order we choose can help us make a deduction about ourselves.