Depending on a person's filing status, he is entitled a income tax standard deduction. The amount of the standard deduction varies each year. If using the standard deduction, then the taxpayer cannot itemize his deductions.
To take the deduction, the taxpayers must be married. To be married, the taxpayers must have "a legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife," according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2012.
Marriage at the End of the Year
Taxpayers are married if they are married on the last day of the year. For example, if there is no divorce decree before the end of the year, then the taxpayers may still file as married because the divorce is not yet final.
Standard Deduction for Married Filing Jointly
The standard deduction for people filing married and jointly was $11,900 for 2012.
Standard Deduction for Married Filing Separately
Taxpayers filing as married filing separately have a standard deduction of $5,950 in 2012.
Where to Claim Deduction
The standard deduction amount is claimed on Form 1040 Line 40.