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Tax season pressure may tempt you to accept the standard tax deduction, rather than exploring the potential benefit of itemizing your deductions.
To figure out whether itemizing would be profitable for you, you need to determine whether the allowable expenses you paid during the year – for things like home mortgage interest and property taxes, state income or sales taxes, medical expenses, charitable donations, etc.—exceed the standard deduction for your filing status. Here are the basic numbers to beat for 2014 returns:
- Standard deduction for single taxpayers - $6,200
- Standard deduction for married taxpayers filing a joint return - $12,400
- Standard deduction for head of household taxpayers - $9,100
Those are the numbers for most of us, but some people get even higher standard deductions. If you're 65 or older or blind, you get to increase your standard tax deduction by the amount listed below.
|Single or Head of Household:||65 or older||$1,550|
|Both 65 or older and blind||$3,100|
|Married, Widow or Widower:||One spouse 65 or older, or blind||$1,200|
|One spouse 65 or older, and blind||$2,400|
|One spouse 65 or older, and both blind||$3,600|
|Both spouses 65 or older||$2,400|
|Both spouses 65 or older, and one blind||$3,600|
|Both spouses 65 or older, and both blind||$4,800|
Now consider how well you will do with itemized deductions in the following areas: