The “standard deduction” is a deduction all taxpayers are entitled to. The deduction reduces taxable income.
The alternative to the standard deduction is “itemized deductions.” Itemized deductions include things such as mortgage interest, property taxes and charitable contributions. If the total of your itemized deductions is greater than your standard deduction, you’ll claim itemized deductions instead.
The amount of the standard deduction varies depending on your filing status. For 2015 returns, the standard deduction amounts were:
- Single or Married Filings Separately: $6,300
- Head of Household: $9,250
- Married Filing Jointly: $12,600
For more tax terms, check out the Glossary page on this website.