Standard Deduction vs. Itemized Deduction

When filing your tax return, you can either file with a standard or itemized deduction. Taxpayers will choose the greater of the other deduction.

The standard deduction is a set amount that taxpayers can subtract from their income before income tax comes into the calculation. The standard deduction is based on your filing status.

For example, for the 2019 tax year here are the filing statuses and their standard deductions.

  • Single – $12,200
  • Head of Household – $18,350
  • Married filing jointly – $24,400
  • Married filing separately – $12,200

The itemized amount is a total of all the expenses you are reporting. Once it exceeds the set standard deduction, you can claim the itemized amount. As a reminder, you can claim the following for your itemized deductions:

  • gifts, cash, or property you donated to a qualified charitable organization
  • medical and dental expenses
  • state and local taxes
  • home mortgage and interest points
  • casualty and theft loss from a federally declared disaster
  • NOLs
  • Alimony


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