- The Standard Deduction is an amount that is subtracted from your total taxable income before calculating your tax amount.
- It is adjusted every year.
- There is a different deduction amount for state income taxes and federal income taxes.
- You can deduct more than the Standard Deduction amount if you actually spent more on certain things. If you did, you can make a list of those expenditures and "Itemize Deductions".
- You can either subtract a Standard Deduction or an Itemized Deduction, but not both.
- The amount of the Standard Deduction varies depending on your filing status.
- The amounts for tax year 2013 are as follows
- Single - $6,100
- Married filing a joint return with your spouse - $12,200
- Qualifying Widower - $12,200
- Head of Household - $8,950
- Married filing separately - $6,100
- Over 65 or blind and filing married - add $1,200
- Over 65 or blind and filing unmarried - add $1,500
For more information visit the official IRS site for this topic here: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc551.html