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 (2016). 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 $9,300.
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.
January 1 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (New Year's Day) - Details
January 11 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during December, report them to your employer - Details
January 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 December 2015.
January 14 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 16 days of December 2015.
January 15 — Individuals
Make a payment of your estimated tax for 2015 if you did not pay your income tax for the year through withholding (or did not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES - Details
January 15 — Farmers & fishermen
Pay your estimated tax for 2015 using Form 1040-ES - Details
January 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in December 2015
January 15 — Nonpayroll withholding.
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in December 2015.
January 18 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr./Inauguration Day) - Details
January 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 December 2015.
January 29 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of January.