Originally Posted by its_eljefe
I qualify to file as HOH for 2016, and I plan to itemize my deductions.
Can my separated spouse file MFS and take the standard deduction since I filed as HOH (not MFS)?
When married couples file separate returns, both spouses typically must claim the standard deduction or both must itemize. If the couple is considered unmarried in the eyes of the IRS and one person claims head of household, the rule does not apply. You can claim head of household and itemize your deductions while your spouse takes the standard deduction. The reverse is also true; you can claim the standard deduction filing as head of household and your spouse can itemize deductions.