Deduction flexibility also is sacrificed. If one spouse itemizes, both must itemize, splitting the items to be listed on a separate Schedule A for each. That means a partner with few deductions couldn't use the standard amount and might get cheated when it comes to reducing taxable income.
Deduction, credit considerations
Many tax-cutting credits and deductions are forfeited when couples file separate 1040s. You can't take the earned-income credit, claim adoption expenses or child and dependent-care costs, use educational tax credits or even deduct the interest you paid on a student loan if you're married and filing separately. If you have children, you might find the child-tax credit reduced because it phases out at different income limits for the various filing statuses. And the amount of capital gains losses you can deduct is cut in half.
Read More From Bankrate: Community property effects on taxes
The married filing separately rules are complicated further if you live in a community property state -- Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin. In these places, state law determines whether your income can be considered as separate or community for tax purposes. See IRS Publication 555, Community Property, for more information.
You should go ahead and figure your taxes as both joint and separate filers and use the method that produces the lower tax bill. But chances are, you'll find joint filing will be your best choice.
And after all, aren't taxes a tiny price to pay for love?
Read this story on Bankrate.com.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.