More special rules apply for separate return filers, so I strongly recommend you to file a joint return unless you do not want joint liability. You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. If both you and your spouse have income, it would be a good idea to figure out your tax on both a joint return and separate returns so you can compare which way gives you the lower combined tax.
—Emily Seo, EA, is a federally licensed tax practitioner at Tax Pro Team in Flushing. The Tax Pro Team, which also includes a CPA and former IRS agent, specializes in personal and corporate income tax returns and audit issues. Call 718-463-1040 for a free consultation.