What is the IRS standard deduction?

What is the IRS standard deduction?

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The standard deduction is an automatic deduction that’s available to nearly every taxpayer.

  • The standard deduction reduces the amount of your income that is federally taxed.
  • The amount of the standard deduction changes regularly to adjust for inflation.
  • You can choose to take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions, whichever amount is highest.

Tax deductions allow you to reduce the amount of income you’re taxed on when you file your federal income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. The standard deduction is one that’s available to most taxpayers. 

The exact amount of the IRS standard deduction changes each year to account for inflation.

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What is the standard deduction?

The standard deduction allows you to reduce your taxable income by a set dollar amount, depending on your tax status. If you file as a single person, you’ll get a smaller deduction than a person filing as head of household or a married couple filing jointly. 

Standard deduction: 2023 and 2024

The amount of the standard deduction is adjusted every year to account for inflation. It has climbed steadily since the standard deduction was introduced in 1970. 

In 2024, it increases again, jumping about 5.4% from 2023 levels.

Filing status

Standard deduction for 2023 (taxes you file in 2024)

Standard deduction for 2024 (taxes you file in 2025)

Single

$13,850

$14,600

Married, filing jointly

$27,700

$29,200

Married, filing separately

$13,850

$14,600

Head of household

$20,800

$21,900

Extra amounts for those aged 65 or older and the blind

If you are over age 65 or blind, you’re eligible for an additional standard deduction of $1,500 to $1,950, depending on your filing status. If you are both elderly and blind, this amount is doubled.

How the standard deduction works

When you file your federal tax return, you can choose to use either the standard deduction or itemize your deductions, whichever amount is highest.

“All taxpayers automatically get the standard deduction,” says Armine Alajian, a certified public accountant and founder of the Alajian Group in Los Angeles. “Some people who have certain expenses that fall under the itemized deduction category, like excessive health expenses, mortgage interest, property tax, and charitable deductions can choose to itemize their deductions.”

If you pick the standard deduction, you’ll claim it on Form 1040. For itemized deductions, you’ll need Schedule A to list all of the eligible expenses you’re claiming.

Here’s a simple example of how the standard deduction looks in action: If you have gross income of $80,000 and file your return as a single person, are under 65, and are not blind, you would be eligible for a standard deduction of $13,850 on your 2022 tax return. This would mean you’d only be taxed on $66,150 of income, assuming there are no other above-the-line deductions.

Who qualifies for the standard deduction?

Most taxpayers are eligible for the standard deduction. If you opt to itemize your deductions, however, you won’t also be able to claim the standard deduction.

In addition to this, you may be ineligible for the standard deduction if:

  • You and your spouse file your returns separately, and your spouse itemizes their deductions.
  • You file as an estate, trust, common trust fund, or partnership.
  • You file a return for less than 12 months due to a change in your account period.
  • You are a nonresident alien or dual-status alien during the tax year. 

There are exceptions to the nonresident alien rule, so make sure to check with the IRS if this applies to you.

Frequently asked questions

How much is the standard deduction for 2023?

The standard deduction for tax year 2023 — that’s the tax return you file in spring 2023 —  is $13,850 for single filers and married couples filing separately, $20,800 for head of household filers, and $27,700 for married couples filing jointly.

How much is the standard deduction for 2024?

The standard deduction for tax year 2024 is $14,600 for single taxpayers and married couples filing separately, $21,900 for head of household filers, and $29,200 for married couples filing jointly.

What is the standard deduction vs. itemized deductions?

The standard deduction will reduce your taxable income by a fixed amount that varies depending on your filing status. With itemized deductions, you list eligible expenses and lower your taxable income by the total amount. Choose whichever method results in a larger amount.

Do I qualify for the standard deduction?

Most taxpayers qualify for the standard deduction. However, you may not qualify if: you and your spouse file your returns separately, and your spouse itemizes their deductions; you file as an estate, trust, common trust fund, or partnership; you file a return for less than 12 months due to a change in your account period; or you are a nonresident alien or dual-status alien during the tax year. 

What if my income is less than the standard deduction?

If your income is less than the standard deduction then you do not have to file a federal tax return. But, you may still want to in order to claim a refund for taxes you paid throughout the year or claim refundable tax credits, such as the earned income tax credit.

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