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General Tax Info

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.

Other Additions to Standard Deduction

You may also claim an addition to the standard deduction for:

  • State and local real estate taxes – add up to $500 for single filers ($1,000 for joint)
  • Net loss from a federally declared disaster – add amount of loss from Form 4684
  • Sales tax or excise taxes on certain new motor vehicles purchased after Feb. 16, 2009 – add amount paid on first $49,500 of vehicle's cost (income limits apply)

These additions are claimed on Schedule L, new for 2009, and add to the basic standard deduction and any increased standard deduction for being 65 or older, or blind, or both.

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 $950 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

2009 Standard Deduction Amounts

Under Age 65 on December 31

Filing Status: Deduction Amount:
Single or Married filing seperately $5,700
Married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) w/dependent child $11,400
Head of Household $8,350

Under Age 65 on December 31

You are at least 65 True False
You are blind True False
Your spouse
True False
Your spouse is blind True False
Filing Status: Number of True Statements Standard Deduction
Single 1 $7,100
  2 $8,500
Married filing jointly or 1 $12,500
Qualifying widow(er) 2 $13,600
  3 $14,700
  4 $15,800
Married filing separately 1 $6,800
  2 $7,900
  3 $9,000
  4 $10,100
Head of Household 1 $9,750
  2 $11,150



> Filing Requirements
> Exemptions
> Itemized Deductions
> Federal Withholding
> Standard Deductions
> Tax Credits
> Education Credits
> Refund Cycle Chart

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