The federal tax law allows you to deduct several different personal expenses from your taxable income each year. This can really pay off during tax season because the reduction to taxable income reduces the amount of income that is subject to federal income tax. However, not all expenses you incur will provide tax savings; the Internal Revenue Code is very specific about the types of expenses you can deduct and the taxpayers who may claim them.
• The Standard Deduction for tax year 2022 is $12,950 for single taxpayers; $19,400 for those who file as Head of Household, and $25,900 for Married Filing Jointly.
• Additional deductions you can take without itemizing are known as above the line deductions. These deductions help determine your adjusted gross income(AGI).
• Most below-the-line deductions relate to the expenses you itemize on the Schedule A attachment to your personal income tax return.
• If you elect to itemize deductions, you’re precluded from also claiming the Standard Deduction.
The IRS allows all taxpayers who don't itemize deductible expenses to claim the Standard Deduction. The government sets the Standard Deduction amount every year for each filing status. For example, in 2022 the government authorized a $12,950 Standard Deduction for single taxpayers, $19,400 for those who file as Head of Household and $25,900 for married couples filing a joint tax return.
So, if you are a single taxpayer who earns $100,950 during the year, the Standard Deduction reduces your taxable income to $88,000. However, this amount is subject to further reduction by other allowable deductions you claim.
For 2020, you can deduct up to $300 per tax return of qualified cash contributions if you take the Standard Deduction. For 2021, this amount is up to $600 per tax return for those filing Married Filing Jointly and $300 for other filing statuses.
Above the line deductions
Personal income tax returns require calculating adjusted gross income (AGI) before arriving at the final taxable income amount. The deductions you may take to arrive at AGI tend to be less restrictive than below-the-line deductions since their limitations have no relation to your AGI.
As an example, the student loan interest deduction allows you to deduct the interest paid on qualified student loans provided you meet the deduction-specific requirements. Similarly, qualified self-employed health insurance payments are fully deductible irrespective of your AGI.
TurboTax Tip: If you’re the sole proprietor of a small business, you can deduct most reasonable expenses that solely relate to the business.
Below the line deductions
Deductions you take below the line reduce your AGI. Many of these deductions have varying limitations that directly relate to the amount of AGI you report. Most below-the-line deductions relate to the expenses you itemize on the Schedule A attachment to your personal income tax return. Some common itemized deductions include medical and dental expenses and charitable contributions.
The medical expenses you can deduct only include the portion that exceeds 7.5% of your AGI for 2022.
Taxpayers who elect to itemize deductions are prevented from also claiming the Standard Deduction.
Small business deductions
If you operate a small business as a sole proprietor, you must incorporate business earnings into your personal tax return by preparing a Schedule C attachment. The Schedule C is a separate calculation of your net profit or loss that requires you to report all business income and deductions.
As a small proprietor, you can take any business deduction on the Schedule C that is available to all other types of businesses. The deductions you may be entitled to include employee salaries, advertising expenses, office rent, and most other reasonable expenses that solely relate to the business.
Let an expert do your taxes for you, start to finish with TurboTax Live Full Service. Or you can get your taxes done right, with experts by your side with TurboTax Live Assisted. File your own taxes with confidence using TurboTax. Just answer simple questions, and we’ll guide you through filing your taxes with confidence. Whichever way you choose, get your maximum refund guaranteed.