Standard Deduction

What is the standard deduction?

The Internal Revenue Code allows taxpayers to take either the standard deduction, a fixed amount that is deducted from adjusted gross income, or itemized deductions when determining their taxable income. The IRS provides an Interactive Tax Assistant to help determine your deduction using their online tool.

Deduction amounts by filing status

The deduction amount depends on filing status and age. In 2021, the basic standard deduction amounts for taxpayers under 65 years of age are:

Filing StatusStandard Deduction
Married filing separately$12,550
Married filing jointly$25,100
Head of household$18,800
Qualifying widow(er)$25,100

Increased deduction

Your deduction is increased if you and/or your spouse are 65 or older and/or blind. In 2021, if you meet one of these conditions and your filing status is single, your deduction is increased to $14,250. If you meet both conditions it is increased to $15,950. Additionally, this increase in deduction is available in different amounts for each filing status. IRS Form 1040 and 1040-SR provides full details.

The deduction is higher for filing statuses of married filing jointly, qualifying widower, married filing separately and head household. However, the final standard deduction amount is different for each filing status.

Other Considerations

The deduction is adjusted annually for inflation.

Your deduction may be limited if you or your spouse is a dependent on another taxpayer’s tax return.