Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Standard Deduction and Tax Computation


Who cannot take the standard deduction?

Some taxpayers cannot take the standard deduction and must itemize. During the interview, find out if the taxpayer is:

  • Filing as Married Filing Separately and the spouse itemizes
  • A nonresident or dual-status alien during the year (and not married to a U.S. citizen or resident at the end of the year)

If either situation applies, the taxpayer must itemize personal deductions and the box on Form 1040, page 2, must be checked.


Chase files as Married Filing Separately. Her spouse, Grant, will be itemizing his deductions. Chase cannot use the standard deduction; she must itemize her deductions.

Tax Software Hint

The tax software automatically calculates the standard deduction based on information collected on the Main Information Sheet. If the taxpayer cannot take the standard deduction, the software will prompt the preparer to itemize deductions.