The Standard Deduction

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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 is $6,300 (2015). Married couples filing jointly have a standard deduction of exactly twice as much as a single person's, at $12,600. If you file as a head of household, your standard deduction is $9,250.

The standard deduction is adjusted every year to keep up with inflation.

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 $1,250 ($1,550 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.


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September 2016
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Upcoming Tax Dates

September 5 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Labor Day) - Details

September 12 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during August, report them to your employer - Details

September 12 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method.
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of August.

September 14 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 16 days of August.

September 15 — Individuals
Make a payment of your 2016 estimated tax if you are not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or will not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES. This is the third installment - Details

September 15 — Corporations
File a 2015 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120) and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. This due date applies only if you timely requested an automatic 6-month extension - Details

September 15 — S Corporations
File a 2015 calendar year income tax return (Form 1120S) and pay any tax due. This due date applies only if you timely requested an automatic 6-month extension - Details

September 15 — Partnerships
File a 2015 calendar year return (Form 1065). This due date applies only if you were given an additional 5-month extension - Details

September 15 — Corporations
Deposit the third installment of estimated income tax for 2016 - Details

September 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in August.

September 15 — Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in August.

September 27 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method.
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 16 days of August.

September 29 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of September.

September 29 — Regular method taxes (special September deposit rule)
Deposit the tax for the period beginning September 16 and ending September 26.

September 29 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method (special September deposit rule).
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the period beginning September 1 and ending September 11.

September 30 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during August.

September 30 — Heavy highway vehicle use tax
File Form 2290 and pay the tax for vehicles first used in August.

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