Standard Deduction

The standard deduction is a set amount that's deducted from a taxpayer's adjusted gross income. It lowers their taxable income. The other choice taxpayers have is taking an itemized deduction.

Would taking the standard deduction make sense for me?

For 90% of taxpayers, the standard deduction saves them more than itemizing would. If in doubt, you can go through the work of itemizing to see if it would make more sense for you. You're allowed to take whichever deduction (standard or itemized) will save you more on taxes. But remember that you can only itemize certain expenses, and you'll need to have documentation for them.

If you and your spouse file as married filing separately, you’ll need to choose the same deduction. If your spouse itemizes, you'll need to, too.

How much is the standard deduction for 2021?

It depends on the taxpayer's filing status. Standard deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation each year. 

Table showing filing status and standard deduction amount in 2021
Taxpayers who are blind or older may receive an additional deduction. Learn more about the Additional Standard Deduction

Is there any situation where my standard deduction would be less (or more)?

If someone is able to claim you as a dependent, you have a different standard deduction amount. It'll depend on your income. It can either be a.) $1,100, or b.) your earned income plus $350. You can choose whichever is greater, but it can't exceed the regular standard deduction amount.

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