The Standard Deduction was created in 1944 by Congress, to give every taxpayer a fair deduction for some of their living expenses, for your particular life situation. It let you deduct 10% from your Taxable Income. That lasted for 20-years, when in 1964 Congress changed the Standard Deduction to a fixed dollar amount. Then in the 1970’s, Congress started increasing the Standard Deduction each year for inflation – which was high in the 1970’s. That method survives through today, as the IRS almost every year increases the Standard Deduction by a small amount, to account for inflation. The Standard Deduction amounts for the 2016 tax year were:
- Single: $6,300
- Married Filing Jointly: $12,600
- Married Filing Separately $6,300
- Head of Household $9,300
- Qualifying Widow(er) $12,600
The Additional Standard Deduction: If a taxpayer is over the age of 65 on December 31st, and/or if they are blind, they receive an extra amount added to their normal Standard Deduction, for each qualification:
- Single: $1,550 extra for age and/or blindness
- Married Filing Jointly: $1,250 extra for age and/or blindness, for each spouse who qualifies for an Additional Standard Deduction
- Married Filing Separately: $1,250 extra for age and/or blindness
- Head of Household: $1,550 extra for age and/or blindness
- Qualifying Widow(er): $1,250 extra for age and/or blindness
For example, a Single taxpayer of age 70, would receive the normal Standard Deduction of $6,300. They also would add an extra $1,550 to that as an Additional Standard Deduction – for a total of $7,850.
The Standard and Additional Deduction are listed as one total amount on line 24 of the form 1040A.
Click the link below for the next Blog post to learn about the Personal and Dependent Exemption deductions you can take for yourself, your spouse, and for any Dependents listed on your tax return – to further reduce your Taxable Income.
The 1040A: The Personal & Dependent Exemptions
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