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If you file separate for whatever reason, you will be penalized for doing so. For most couples filing separate is the least advantageous filing status and eliminates many credits and deductions, including student loan interest and earned income credit. If you are married and share the same residence, your only choice is filing jointly or filing separate.
If you have children, have the one with higher income claim them. If you both have enough to itemize, again, have the one with higher income take most of the deductions. I would suggest to sit down with a tax professional who can use a tax projection software to allocate your deductions to maximize your refund. But do not expect 3-4K refund unless you had much more withheld from your paycheck throughout the year or paid estimates.
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