The standard deduction is a fixed amount, based on your filing status, that reduces your taxable income. You can use either the standard deduction or your actual itemized deductions on Form 1040, but not both.
The standard deduction for a single person or a married person filing separately increases in 2018 to $12,000. Married couples filing jointly have a standard deduction of exactly twice as much as a single person's, at $24,000. If you file as a head of household, your standard deduction is $18,000.
If someone else, such as your parents, can claim you on their return, your standard deduction may be lower.
If you or your spouse are considered blind or are age 65 or older, you can claim an additional standard deduction amount. Each additional standard deduction amount is currently $1,300 ($1,600 if you use the Single or Head of Household filing status).
As you go through the step-by-step interview, TaxAct prompts you to enter itemized deductions, such as mortgage interest expense and charitable contributions. If your total itemized deductions are more than your standard deduction, TaxAct uses your itemized deductions to calculate your taxes.
One way TaxAct can help you find more tax deductions is to compare your deductions this year to the deductions you took last year. Use the TaxAct Prior Year Comparison Report to see if the numbers are similar, and if not, if you may be missing a valuable deduction.
August 1 — Certain small employers
Deposit any undeposited tax if your tax liability is $2,500 or more for 2018 but less than $2,500 for the second quarter.
August 1 — Federal unemployment tax
Deposit the tax owed through June if more than $500.
August 1 — All employers
If you maintain an employee benefit plan, such as a pension, profitsharing, or stock bonus plan, file Form 5500 or 5500EZ for calendar year 2017. If you use a fiscal year as your plan year, file the form by the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.
August 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during July, report them to your employer Details
August 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the second quarter of 2019. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.
August 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in July.