Now that the year is almost over, it’s time to start getting ready for your next tax return. (I know … I don’t want to think about it, either.) And as part of your year-end tax planning, you need to familiarize yourself with a few basic tax provisions that will have an impact on your overall tax bill. Which federal tax bracket you’re in is one. Your filing status is another. And don’t forget the most popular tax deduction of them all—your standard deduction.
About 90% of all taxpayers claim the standard deduction on their federal tax return (as opposed to itemizing deductions)—but the standard deduction amounts are changed every year to account for inflation. So, before jumping into tax planning mode, you’ll want to know the standard deduction amounts for the 2023 tax year.
Plus, the standard deduction isn’t the same for everyone. How much you can claim is primarily based on your filing status. However, your age, dependency status, and even your eyesight can also impact your standard deduction amount. So can being the victim of a natural disaster.
But don’t worry about all the various factors … I’ll spell everything out so it’s clear how much lower your taxable income will be when you file your 2023 tax return next year. Plus, if you’re a hardcore planner, I’ve got the 2024 standard deduction amounts for you, too.
Related: What Tax Bracket Are You In?
How the Standard Deduction Works
When working on your income taxes, the first thing you need to do is calculate your federal adjusted gross income, or AGI. That figure includes all your taxable income, minus any “above-the-line” tax deductions you’re entitled to claim (i.e., deductions taken from your gross income to arrive at your adjusted gross income).
The next step is to subtract either your standard deduction or itemized deductions from your adjusted gross income to arrive at your taxable income. When deciding between the standard deduction and itemized deductions, pick whichever one is higher. (Small business owners and certain other people might also be allowed to deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income.) Once you know your taxable income, calculate the tax due for that dollar amount. If you can claim any tax credits or made previous tax payments, they are subtracted from the tax due.
The higher your standard deduction (or itemized deductions), the lower your taxable income. The lower your taxable income, the lower your tax bill. And if your standard tax deduction is large enough to bring your taxable income down to a lower tax bracket, the impact can be even greater.
2023 Standard Deduction Amounts
Now that you understand the importance of the standard deduction, let’s take a look at the actual standard deduction amounts for the 2023 tax year. (For most people, tax returns for the 2023 tax year will be due April 15, 2024.)
The basic standard deduction, which most people will use for their 2023 return, is based on your filing status, as shown in the table below.
|Filing Status||2023 Standard Deduction|
|Married Filing Jointly||$27,700|
|Married Filing Separately||$13,850|
|Head of Household||$20,800|
|Qualifying Surviving Spouse||$27,700|
2023 Standard Deductions for Dependents
If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, your 2023 standard deduction is generally limited to the greater of:
- Your earned income plus $400 (but not more than the applicable basic standard deduction amount)
Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other compensation for work. It also includes any part of a taxable scholarship or fellowship grant.
2023 Additional Standard Deductions for Age and/or Blindness
If you’re at least 65 years old or considered legally blind at the end of 2023, you’re entitled to an additional standard deduction for the 2023 tax year in the following dollar amount:
- $1,500 for married couples filing jointly, married taxpayers filing separately, and surviving spouses
- $1,850 for single and head-of-household filers
For married couples who file jointly, both spouses get an additional standard deduction for being at least 65 years old or blind. If you or your spouse is both 65 or older and blind, then the additional deduction for that person is doubled.
If you’re married but filing a separate return, your spouse is eligible for the additional standard deduction on your return only if he or she has no income, isn’t filing a return, and can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return for the tax year. The additional deduction is also doubled for separate filers for either qualifying spouse who is both 65 or older and blind.
You can use the table below to determine your 2023 standard deduction if you or your spouse will be either 65 or older or blind by the end of 2023.
|Filing Status||65 and/or Blind||2023 Standard Deduction|
|Single||65 or Blind||$15,700|
|65 and Blind||$17,550|
|Married Filing Jointly||One Spouse 65 or Blind||$29,200|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind||$30,700|
|One Spouse 65 or Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$30,700|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$32,200|
|Both Spouses 65 and Blind||$33,700|
|Married Filing Separately||One Spouse 65 or Blind||$15,350|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind||$16,850|
|One Spouse 65 or Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$16,850|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$18,350|
|Both Spouses 65 and Blind||$19,850|
|Head of Household||65 or Blind||$22,650|
|65 and Blind||$24,500|
|Qualifying Surviving Spouse||65 or Blind||$29,200|
|65 and Blind||$30,700|
WealthUp Tip: If you’re not totally blind (i.e., only partially blind) and claim the additional standard deduction for blindness, the IRS requires a statement from an eye doctor certifying that you (1) can’t see better than 20/200 in the better eye with glasses or contact lenses, or (2) your field of vision is 20 degrees or less. The statement should also note if your vision isn’t likely to improve beyond these limits. If your vision can be corrected beyond these limits only by contact lenses that you can wear only briefly because of pain, infection, or ulcers, you can use the standard deduction for blindness if you otherwise qualify.
2024 Standard Deduction Amounts
If you’re looking ahead to your 2024 taxes—as wise taxpayers should—you’ll want to check on your 2024 standard deduction. (You should look at the 2024 tax brackets, too.) The basic standard deduction amounts for 2024 are shown in the following table.
|Filing Status||2024 Standard Deduction|
|Married Filing Jointly||$29,200|
|Married Filing Separately||$14,600|
|Head of Household||$21,900|
|Qualifying Surviving Spouse||$29,200|
For dependents, the 2024 standard deduction is limited to the greater of:
- Earned income plus $450 (again, not more than the applicable basic standard deduction amount)
If you’re at least 65 years old or blind at the end of 2024, the additional standard deduction for the 2024 tax year is:
- $1,550 for married couples filing jointly, married taxpayers filing separately, and surviving spouses
- $1,950 for single and head-of-household filers
So, for 2024, the additional standard deductions for people who are either 65 or older or blind at the end of the year are as shown in the following table.
|Filing Status||65 and/or Blind||2024 Standard Deduction|
|Single||65 or Blind||$16,550|
|65 and Blind||$18,500|
|Married Filing Jointly||One Spouse 65 or Blind||$30,750|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind||$32,300|
|One Spouse 65 or Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$32,300|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$33,850|
|Both Spouses 65 and Blind||$35,400|
|Married Filing Separately||One Spouse 65 or Blind||$16,150|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind||$17,700|
|One Spouse 65 or Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$17,700|
|One Spouse 65 and Blind; Other Spouse 65 or Blind||$19,250|
|Both Spouses 65 and Blind||$20,800|
|Head of Household||65 or Blind||$23,850|
|65 and Blind||$25,800|
|Qualifying Surviving Spouse||65 or Blind||$30,750|
|65 and Blind||$32,300|
Inflation Adjustments for the 2024 Standard Deduction Amounts
The 2024 basic standard deduction amounts for most people increased by approximately 5.4% when compared to the 2023 amounts (5.3% for head-of-household filers). That rate of increase is higher than what we normally see because the inflation rate is still relatively high.
However, the basic standard deduction jumped a whopping 6.95% from 2022 to 2023 for the majority of people (7.22% for head-of-household filers). That’s because the inflation rate was even higher last year than it is now.
The standard deduction amounts don’t usually rise as swiftly as they have in the past two years, though. That’s because the inflation rate has been unusually high over the past couple of years.
Since the standard deduction was nearly doubled by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (starting with the 2018 tax year), the increases have been more modest, as shown in the table below.
|Tax Year||Head of Household Filer’s Standard Deduction Increase||All Other Taxpayer’s Standard Deduction Increase|
Note that, if any increase triggered by the inflation adjustment rules is not a multiple of $50, the increase is rounded to the next lowest multiple of $50.
Higher Standard Deduction for Qualified Disaster Loss
You can claim a larger standard deduction if you have a net “qualified disaster loss” for the tax year, which is a casualty or theft loss of personal property stemming from:
- A major disaster declared by the president in 2016
- Hurricane Harvey
- Tropical Storm Harvey
- Hurricane Irma
- Hurricane Maria
- The California wildfires in 2017 and January 2018
- A major disaster declared by the president that occurred in 2018 and before Dec. 21, 2019, and continued no later than January 19, 2020 (except those attributable to the California wildfires in January 2018 that received prior relief)
- A major disaster that was declared by the president between Jan. 1, 2020, and Feb. 25, 2021, with an incident period from Dec. 28, 2019, to Dec. 27, 2020 (not including losses attributable to any major disaster declared only by reason of COVID-19)
Although these natural disasters all happened in previous tax years, you might not be able to increase your standard deduction until well after the disaster if there’s an insurance claim for reimbursement in the year of the loss. That’s because the loss is not deductible until you know with “reasonable certainty” whether you’ll actually be reimbursed for your loss. If you aren’t sure whether the loss (or even part of the loss) will be reimbursed, then wait until the tax year when you become reasonably certain that it won’t be reimbursed to claim the increased standard deduction.
Use Form 4684 to calculate your net qualified disaster loss. However, you don’t report the standard deduction increase with your other standard deduction amounts. Instead, report the loss as “Net Qualified Disaster Loss” on Schedule A (Form 1040). Also report your standard deduction amount as “Standard Deduction Claimed With Qualified Disaster Loss” on Schedule A.
Standard Deduction vs. Itemized Deductions
As we mentioned earlier, when deciding to use the standard deduction or itemize, you can pick whichever one is higher—assuming you’re allowed to take the standard deduction (more on that in a bit).
While wealthier Americans are the ones who typically itemize deductions, ordinary people can also qualify for common itemized deductions that, in total, are greater than their standard deduction. For example, you might want to itemize if you:
- Had large medical expenses that weren’t covered by insurance
- Paid high state and local taxes (up to $10,000)
- Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses
- Made large charitable contributions
- Paid home mortgage interest
The bottom line: If your total itemized deductions exceed your total standard deduction, then you’ll likely want to itemize your deductions.
Your state taxes might also influence your decision. In some states, if you pick the standard deduction for federal income tax purposes, you must also use the state standard deduction on your state income tax return. However, if the overall benefit of itemizing deductions on both returns is greater than the overall benefit of claiming the standard deduction, then you should itemize deductions when filing your federal taxes.
Who Can’t Claim the Standard Deduction?
You can’t take the standard deduction if:
- You’re married but file separately, and your spouse itemizes deductions on his or her return
- You’re filing a tax return for a short tax year because of a change in your annual accounting period
- You’re a nonresident or dual-status alien during the tax year
A nonresident alien who is married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year can choose to be treated as a U.S. resident and, therefore, claim the standard deduction.
If you’re not permitted to take the standard deduction, you can still claim any itemized deduction for which you qualify.
Other Deductions Available If You Claim the Standard Deduction
If you take the standard deduction, you can’t claim any itemized deduction found on Schedule A. So no itemized deduction for medical expenses, state and local taxes, charitable contributions, home mortgage interest, and the like.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other tax deductions you can take. In fact, our federal income tax system offers a long list of additional write-offs to lower your taxes if you choose the standard deduction over itemized deductions. These are commonly referred to as “above-the-line” deductions, since they are taken above the line for adjusted gross income on the federal 1040 form.
While not an exhaustive list, some of the more common above-the-line deductions are those for:
- Classroom expenses for teachers and other educators
- Health savings account (HSA) contributions
- Health insurance for self-employed people
- IRA contributions (although not for Roth IRAs)
- Student loan interest
- Moving expenses for members of the military
- Alimony paid under a divorce or separation agreement entered into on before 2019
- SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plan contributions for employees (and for yourself if you’re a sole proprietor)
- Jury duty pay handed over to your employer (e.g., if the employer paid your salary while on jury duty)
Prior-Year Standard Deductions
As described earlier, the standard deduction varies from year to year because it’s adjusted annually for inflation.
As a result, if you’re behind on filing your taxes for years before 2023 or filing an amended return, the 2023 and 2024 standard deductions spelled out above aren’t going to be of much use.
So, for anyone looking for prior-year information, the basic and additional standard deductions for 2016 to 2022 are provided below. (Note: Before 2022, the “qualifying surviving spouse” filing status was known as the “qualifying widow(er)” filing status.)
2022 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2022 Basic Standard Deduction||2022 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$25,900||$1,400|
|Married Filing Separately||$12,950||$1,400|
|Head of Household||$19,400||$1,750|
|Qualifying Surviving Spouse||$25,900||$1,400|
2021 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2021 Basic Standard Deduction||2021 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$25,100||$1,350|
|Married Filing Separately||$12,550||$1,350|
|Head of Household||$18,800||$1,700|
2020 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2020 Basic Standard Deduction||2020 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$24,800||$1,300|
|Married Filing Separately||$12,400||$1,300|
|Head of Household||$18,650||$1,650|
2019 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2019 Basic Standard Deduction||2019 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$24,400||$1,300|
|Married Filing Separately||$12,200||$1,300|
|Head of Household||$18,350||$1,650|
2018 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2018 Basic Standard Deduction||2018 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$24,000||$1,300|
|Married Filing Separately||$12,000||$1,300|
|Head of Household||$18,000||$1,600|
2017 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2017 Basic Standard Deduction||2017 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$12,700||$1,250|
|Married Filing Separately||$6,350||$1,250|
|Head of Household||$9,350||$1,550|
2016 Standard Deductions
|Filing Status||2016 Basic Standard Deduction||2016 Additional Standard Deduction (65 or Blind)|
|Married Filing Jointly||$12,600||$1,250|
|Married Filing Separately||$6,300||$1,250|
|Head of Household||$9,300||$1,550|