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If spouses file separately, each must report only his or her own income, exemptions, and deductions on his or her tax return. However, in community property states, the general rule is that each spouse must report one-half of the combined community income.
To be absolutely certain whether joint or separate returns are better, you should compute your tax liability both ways and compare the results. It's especially important to run the numbers where one or both spouses may be liable for the Alternative Minimum Tax.