Opening Principal Taxpayer first

Is there a way in settings/options to select which taxpayers’ return to open first when opening an existing file? Currently it seems to open whichever taxpayer was selected when the file was saved and closed (so if I save and close it when on the wife’s screen, it opens back up to this taxpayer next time the file is opened). Is it possible to set in the options to always open the Principal Taxpayer first when opening an existing return? I realize we can just make a practice of going back to the principal taxpayer before saving, but this feature would be a huge help for our firm. Thank you.

When you are in the client manager and looking at a taxpayer in a joint (or family return,) when you click on the file, it will open to that person. (Just tested this. Opened file when in adult child. Saved with the child displaying. Closed, found a parent in the same file, clicked on the file then, and the selected parent now opened.)

Certainly when you are in the recent list, you can select which person you are looking for.

Michaal –

@TimParris is correct for the recent list and the client manager. Do you want to override that behaviour? Or are you using the open dialog to open a file, and in that case you want it to default to the principal taxpayer?

Hi Cameron,
Yes, from the taxcycle main page I am using the open icon and selecting the combined family file to open. From here I would like it to default to opening the principal taxpayer if possible.


From the main page, it depends on how you saved the ORIGINAL file (all the years back). I have my parents saved (incorrectly) with my Mom’s name first way back in 2012. Today, I carried forward to start 2021 and intentionally was on Dad’s return when I saved, using Save As, and switched the file name to have Dad first. Opened from main page----Mom still displays.

Frustrating, yes, but it’s one click to get to Dad

As you discovered the file name does not determine the order.

If you wish to make that happen uncouple the returns.
Open the return of the taxpayer you want as principal (dad in your example).
Couple with spouse and then save.

@Arliss that makes too much sense… Thank you!