Most taxpayers are permitted to deduct either a standard deduction or itemized deductions in determining their taxable income. The standard deductions are based on filing status. For 2017, the amounts are: Single and Married Taxpayers Filing Separately $6,350 (up from $6,300 in 2016), Head of Household $9,350 (up from $9,300 in 2016), Married Filing Jointly and Surviving Spouse $12,700 (up from $12,600 in 2016), In addition, elderly and blind taxpayers are allowed an “add-on” to the standard deduction for their filing status. The add-on amount for single taxpayers is $1,550 and $1,250 for married taxpayers. As an example, in 2017, a married couple filing jointly and both over age 65 would have a standard deduction of $15,200 ($12,700+ $1,250 + $1,250). For 2017, the standard deduction of an individual who is, or could be, a dependent of someone else is limited to the greater of $1,050 or the individual’s earned income plus $350 (but not exceeding $6,350). Note: When filing using the married separate status, both spouses either must itemize their deductions or use the standard deduction.
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