Married filing single (MFS) can shield you if your new spouse employs questionable filing practices or even makes unintentional mistakes on his or her return; consider this (MFS) status if you’re fuzzy on your spouse’s financial reporting habits. I believe this has become more of an issue now that many young people are waiting a little longer before tying the knot.
“Do either of you have past tax issues, a large tax balance due, college loans and or child support that might be held back when refunds come?” “Does one of you like to over-withhold for large refunds, while the other wants as close to zero held back for a return later?” It would be a shock if you were to file a joint return, expecting a large refund, but a portion is seized by a creditor. Surprise!
Another issue to discuss is which accounts, such as bank accounts and investments, are going to remain single owner and which are going to be held jointly (Trust or Community property). I would recommend taking your last tax records/filings to your new accountant for review. Keep in mind your filing status at the end of the year is your status for the entire year.