I am US citizen living in the US getting married to a non US citizen who is studying here on a non-immigrant J visa. While she is the in the US, she has and will have no income.
In a year or two, we are going to leave the US and so are not planning to apply for her to become a permanent resident. As I understand it, when we are living abroad, I can file for taxes as 'Married filing separately' and, as she is not a US person and has no US based income, she will not need to file any paperwork whatsoever with the IRS.
However, while we are living here, it seems like a good idea for me to file as 'Married filing jointly' as I will get extra deductions against no extra income.
My question is whether doing this will complicate matters after we leave and I want to start filing separately and avoid her having to report any of her foreign income, or whether I can just switch which box I check.