Bankrate's 2009 Tax Guide
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2008 deduction amounts

Standard deduction amounts

The amount you can claim depends upon your filing status and age.
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For taxpayers younger than 65, the amounts are:

Standard deductions
Head of household$8,000
Married filing jointly$10,900
Qualifying widow or widower$10,900
Married filing separately$5,450

Standard deductions for older, visually impaired taxpayers

Taxpayers age 65 or older, as well as visually impaired/blind filers, are allowed larger standard deduction amounts. To determine which amount you can claim, you must check the appropriate boxes on your Form 1040 or Form 1040A (Form 1040EZ is not available to filers age 65 or older). On line 39A of Form 1040 (line 23A of Form 1040A) the boxes you can check are as follows:
  • You were born before Jan. 2, 1944.*
  • Your spouse was born before Jan. 2, 1944.*
  • You are blind.**
  • Your spouse is blind.**

Based on the number of boxes checked, your standard deduction will be:

Standard deductions: 65+ or visually impaired
Filing statusNumber of boxes checkedStandard deduction amount
Married filing jointly1
Married filing separately1
Head of Household1



* If your 65th birthday is Jan. 1, the IRS considers you age 65 for the previous tax year and you may claim the larger standard deduction.
** You may qualify for the larger deduction even if you are partially blind by attaching a letter from your physician attesting to your limited vision.

Standard deduction option for property taxes

New in 2008, taxpayers who do not itemize can add an additional amount to their standard deduction in connection with real estate taxes paid. The maximum added standard deduction amount is up to $500 for single, married filing separately or head of household filers, up to $1,000 for married couples who file joint returns. This additional standard deduction amount also is available for the 2009 tax year.

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