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Deductions

Standard Deduction

The standard deduction is a dollar amount that reduces the amount of income subject to tax. You cannot take the standard deduction if you are claiming itemized deductions.

The amount of standard deduction is based on a taxpayer's filing status. The standard deduction amount can change from year to year depending upon inflation.

Higher Standard Deduction

There is an additional deduction amount for taxpayers age 65 or older, are blind, or both.

The additional amount for age will be allowed if you or your spouse are age 65 or older on the last day of the tax year. The IRS considers you 65 on the day before your birthday.

The additional amount for blindness will be allowed if you or your spouse are totally or partly blind on the last day of the tax year. If you are partly blind, you must get a certified statement from an optometrist or eye doctor declaring you cannot see better than 20/200 vision in one eye (even with eye glasses or contact lenses), or that your field of vision is not more than 20 degrees.

Reduced Standard Deduction

If you can be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return, the amount of the standard deduction is reduced. Generally, the amount of the standard deduction is limited to the greater of $1,000, or your earned income for the year plus $300. The amount of the standard deduction for a dependent cannot be higher than the regular standard deduction amount.

Non-Qualifying Individuals

  • A married person whose filing status is married filing separately and whose spouse is itemizing deductions
  • An individual who is a nonresident alien or dual-status alien during any part of the current tax year. Dual status occurs when you are considered both a nonresident and resident alien during the same year.
  • An individual who changes his or her annual accounting cycle and is filing a return for a period of less than 12 months

2013 Standard Deduction Amounts

Under Age 65 on December 31

Filing Status Deduction Amount
Single or Married filing separately $6,100
Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child $12,200
Head of household $8,950

Over Age 65 or Blind

You are at least 65 True False
You are blind True False
Your spouse at least 65 True False
Your spouse is blind True False

Filing Status

Number of True Statements

Standard Deduction
Single 1 $7,600
2 $9,100
Married filing jointly or
Qualifying widow(er)
1 $13,400
2 $14,600
3 $15,800
4 $17,000
Married filing separately 1 $7,300
2 $8,500
3 $9,700
4 $10,900
Head of household 1 $10,450
2 $11,950