When preparing your federal tax return, you have the option of either taking the
standard deduction, or, if you think you may have more qualified expenses than the
standard deduction provides, you may choose to itemize your deductions. The amount
of the standard deduction for 2017 depends on your filing status. The following shows
the standard deduction amounts for tax year 2017:
• Single or Married Filing Separately – $6,350
• Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er) – $12,700
• Head of Household – $9,350
If you choose to file using the standard deduction, one of the amounts above, based on
your filing status, will be deducted from your income before the amount of tax you owe
If you have expenses that are more than the standard deduction allowed for your filing
status, you may want to itemize your deductions.
Here are some tips to help you decide which to choose:
• Use IRS Free File. If you earned $66,000 or less, you qualify to use free, brandname
software to do your taxes for free. IRS Free File helps you determine
whether to itemize by finding your tax credits and deductions and doing the math
for you. You can even do your taxes from your mobile phone or tablet. If you
earned more than $66,000, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic
version of IRS paper forms. Check out other e-file options.
• Figure Your Itemized Deductions. You need to add up deductible expenses
you paid during the year. Visit IRS.gov and refer to Publication 17, Your Federal
Income Tax, When to Itemize, for more details.
• Use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant Tool. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant
tool on IRS.gov. It can help you determine if you can use the standard deduction.
It can also help figure your eligibility for certain itemized deductions.
• File the Right Forms. To itemize your deductions, file Form 1040 and
Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. You can take the standard deduction
on Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.
To learn more, visit IRS.gov.
Date: February 1, 2018