Standard or Itemized Deductions

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					 IRS Tax Tips                                                                               March 10, 2010

Useful Links:                Issue Number:              IRS Tax Tip 2010-48 Home                 Inside This Issue
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                                             Standard or Itemized Deductions
                             Most taxpayers have a choice of either taking a standard deduction or itemizing their
                             deductions. If you have a choice, you can use the method that gives you the lowest
News Essentials              tax.

What's Hot                   Whether to itemize deductions on your tax return depends on how much you spent on
                             certain expenses last year. Money paid for medical care, mortgage interest, taxes,
                             charitable contributions, casualty losses and miscellaneous deductions can reduce
News Releases                your taxes. If the total amount spent on those categories is more than your standard
                             deduction, you can usually benefit by itemizing.
IRS - The Basics
                             The standard deduction amounts are based on your filing status and are subject to
IRS Guidance                 inflation adjustments each year. For 2009, they are:

Media Contacts                       $5,700 for Single
                                     $11,400 for Married Filing Jointly
                                     $8,350 for Head of Household
Facts & Figures
                                     $5,700 for Married Filing Separately
                                     $11,400 for Qualifying Widow(er)
Problem Alerts
                             Some taxpayers have different standard deductions The standard deduction
Around The Nation            amount depends on your filing status, whether you are 65 or older or blind and
                             whether an exemption can be claimed for you by another taxpayer. If any of these
e-News Subscriptions         apply, you must use the Standard Deduction Worksheet on the back of Form 1040EZ,
                             or in the 1040A or 1040 instructions. The standard deduction amount also depends on
                             whether you plan to claim the additional standard deduction for state and local real
                             estate taxes or state or local excise tax on a new vehicle, and whether you have a net
                             disaster loss from a federally declared disaster. You must file Schedule L, Standard
                             Deduction for Certain Filers to claim these additional amounts.
The Newsroom
Topics                       Limited itemized deductions Your itemized deductions may be limited if your
                             adjusted gross income is more than $166,800 or $83,400 if you are married filing
Electronic IRS Press Kit     separately. This limit applies to all itemized deductions except medical and dental
                             expenses, casualty and theft losses of personal use and income producing property,
                             gambling losses and investment interest expenses.
Tax Tips 2009
                             Married Filing Separately When a married couple files separate returns and one
Radio PSAs                   spouse itemizes deductions, the other spouse cannot claim the standard deduction
                             and should itemize their deductions.
Fact Sheets                              Some taxpayers are not eligible for the standard deduction They include
                                         nonresident aliens, dual-status aliens and individuals who file returns for periods of
                                         less than 12 months due to a change in accounting periods.
Armed Forces
                                         Forms to use The standard deduction can be taken on Forms 1040, 1040A or
Disaster Relief                          1040EZ. If you qualify for the higher standard deduction for real estate taxes, new
                                         motor vehicle taxes, or a net disaster loss, you must attach Schedule L. To itemize
Scams / Consumer Alerts                  your deductions, use Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and Schedule A,
                                         Itemized Deductions.
Tax Shelters
                                         These forms and instructions may be downloaded from the Web site or
                                         ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
More Topics..

IRS Resources
                                                   Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (PDF 2.3MB)
Compliance & Enforcement                           Schedule A, Itemized Deductions (PDF)

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Description: Standard or Itemized Deductions