Standard Deduction Amounts For 2011
Standard deductions for the 2011 tax year have increased
slightly from 2010 rates. The new standard deduction amounts
are as follows:
- Single filers: $5,800.00
- Head of Household: $8,500.00
- Married Filing Jointly: $11,600.00
- Married Filing Separately: $5,800.00
- Qualifying Widows or Widowers: $11,400.00
- Dependents: Ranges from $950.00 – $5,800.00.
Determining Whether to Claim the Standard Deduction
When preparing your tax return, you must choose between
taking the standard deduction and itemizing your deductions.
Before deciding, it is best to calculate a rough estimate of
what you will be able to deduct if you choose to itemize.
Items that are generally
tax-deductible on your tax return include the amount
paid on mortgage interest, some medical care expenses,
charitable donations, some moving expenses and more. When
you total your expenses, if the resulting amount is higher
than the standard deduction, then you most likely will be
better off taking the time to itemize your tax return.
Many people, regardless of whether or not itemizing their
deductions may give them a better tax break, prefer to take
the standard deduction. The main reason in their line of
thinking is simply that it is easier since it does not
require you to worry about which deductions you might be
able to claim or to keep track of receipts for deductions,
Does Everyone Qualify for the Standard Deduction?
Although most people are eligible to take the standard
deduction, there are some individuals will not qualify for
it. According to the
the following individuals do not qualify for the standard
- Non-resident aliens
- Dual status aliens
- Any individual who files his tax return for a time
period of fewer than 12 months due to a change in
Standard Deduction for Married Couples Filing Separately
If you are a married couple and decide to file separate
returns, you must both either claim the standard deduction
or itemize your tax returns. In other words, if one of you
decides to claim the standard deduction, then the other
cannot itemize his or her tax return.
Which Forms Can Be Used When Claiming the Standard
If you determine that the standard deduction is the way
to go, then you will have a few options when filing your
return. You can choose from Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form
1040EZ. It may also be in your best interest to consult a
tax expert to be sure that you are selecting the most
beneficial option for your unique situation.
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