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Video: Changes in the Standard Deduction for Certain Tax Filers

Updated for Tax Year 2017


OVERVIEW

There are other factors that affect your standard tax deduction besides your filing status. Watch this video to find out what they are.


Video transcript:

Hello, I’m Tammy from TurboTax with some information about the standard deduction.

Are you aware that there are other factors that affect the amount of your standard deduction besides your filing status?

If not, you’ll be interested to learn about the standard deduction rules for certain taxpayers. For many taxpayers who use the same filing status each year—reporting the standard deduction on a tax return is probably one of the more simple tasks. This is because there are five filing status options available and each one has a fixed amount of standard deduction you can report.

But if you will be 65 by the end of the tax year, are at least partially blind or are the dependent to another taxpayer—your standard deduction is a little different.

When you are at least 65 years old by the end of the tax year, the IRS provides you with a larger standard deduction than if you weren't over 65.

And if you file a joint return with your spouse and only one of you qualifies for the increased standard deduction—you can still report it.

The same increased standard deduction is available to blind taxpayers as well. However, if you aren’t totally blind—you still qualify for the increase—but you must obtain a certified document from your doctor stating that the quality of your eyesight is below certain levels. Keep this document with your tax records—the IRS doesn’t require you to send a copy with your return, but the agency will expect you to have it available if it ever requests proof.

Dependents are another group of taxpayers who are subject to different standard deduction rules. If another taxpayer claims you as their dependent, this doesn’t mean you’re exempt from income tax. You must still report your income on a tax return each year if the amount requires it. However, the maximum standard deduction you are eligible to take is equal to that of a single filer. In some circumstances, it may be much lower—but this depends on whether you earn your income from working or through investments.

For those of you who normally itemize your deductions because it saves you more in tax than the standard deduction—remember that if you qualify for the increased standard deduction, the level of itemized expenses you report also needs to increase to make itemizing worth it.

Remember, when you use TurboTax to file your tax return, we’ll ask you simple questions and recommend the best filing status for you.

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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


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