Should You and Your Spouse File Taxes Jointly or Separately?

OVERVIEW

Married couples have the option to file jointly or separately on their federal income tax returns. The IRS strongly encourages most couples to file joint tax returns by extending several tax breaks to those who file together. In the vast majority of cases, it's best for married couples to file jointly, but there may be a few instances when it's better to submit separate returns.

Advantages of filing jointly

There are many advantages to filing a joint tax return with your spouse. The IRS gives joint filers one of the largest standard deductions each year, allowing them to deduct a significant amount of their income immediately.