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We pay income tax to the federal government and the state of California.
...
After all, my income is $0.

So - since you pay CA taxes, I assume you live there.
As a resident of CA, your income isn't $0 if you file as Married-filing-separately.
Instead, it's 1/2 the joint income of the two of you.
So it's not really 0 as far as your form 1040 is concerned - it's >$160K from your other statements.
see pub 555
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/ar02.html
look at the parts about "community income" and "community property state"
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