The standard deduction reduces taxable income. It is a benefit that eliminates the need for many taxpayers to itemize actual deductions, such as medical expenses, taxes, interest, and charitable contributions, on Schedule A (Form 1040). The standard deduction is increased by an additional amount for taxpayers who are 65 or older, or are blind.
Taxpayers must decide whether to itemize deductions or to use the standard deduction. Generally, taxpayers should itemize deductions if the allowable itemized deductions are greater than the standard deduction. Some taxpayers must itemize deductions because they cannot use the standard deduction.
The standard deduction cannot be used if the taxpayer is:
- Married filing as Married Filing Separately, and the spouse itemizes deductions.
- A nonresident alien or a dual-status alien during the year.