How does filing your tax return as married affect your return?
When you are married, you should file a joint tax return that shows the annual income of both persons. Even if one of you doesn't even make any income or deductions, you should still file on a joint tax return. When you file jointly, if your spouse makes an income, then your taxes will be higher, but so will your deductions. The refund you receive will be bigger in the long run as well. Although you are not required to file your taxes jointly if you're married, it is probably recommended by most tax advisors to do so. If you were to add dependents to your tax return, for example children you raise with your spouse, then your deductions go up even more. Filing jointly can also affect where you place along the tax brackets. Depending on what your spouse does, it could notch you both up a tax bracket, or could possibly help you fall to a lower tax bracket. With that said, it is firmly believed that filing jointly with your spouse along with however many dependents you have is the better choice when filing your tax returns.