Standard vs Itemized

All taxpayers will receive either a 'standard deduction' or the total of their 'itemizes deductions'. You would clearly want to take whichever amount is larger, since this would lower your taxable income. Just remember, you can either have standard or itemized, not both. If you file as 'Married Filing Separate" and your spouse files Itemized deductions, then you must also file with Itemizes deductions.

Standard Deduction

Filing Status                 Base Deduction 
 Married Filling Jointly $11,400
 Married Filling Separate$5,700
 Head of Household $8,400
 Qualifying Widow(er) $11,400

Dependants have a standard deduction equal to their earned income, plus $300, with a minimum of $950 and a maximum of $5,700. 

In addition to the base deduction amount, there are additions for taxpayers who are blind (20/200) or over the age of 65, and also for a taxpayer's spouse who is blind or over 65.

Your Standard deduction can be further increased by  Schedule L. The items that are included on this form change each year.


Itemized Deductions
please use these links to learn more about these deductions.

And hundreds more. These deductions change every year, and sometimes more than once a year. Never be afraid to ask if you think something might be deductible, the worst you can hear is 'no'.