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Bankrate's 2010 Tax Guide
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2009 tax deduction amounts

The amount you can claim depends upon your filing status and age. We give you the information for standard and itemized deduction amounts for taxpayers.

Standard tax deduction amounts

For taxpayers younger than 65 the amounts are:
  • Single $5,700
  • Head of household $8,350
  • Married filing jointly $11,400
  • Qualifying widow or widower $11,400
  • Married filing separately $5,700

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. 1, 1945.*
Your spouse was born before Jan. 1, 1945.*
You are blind.**
Your spouse is blind.**

* 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.

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

Additional standard deduction options

Taxpayers who do not itemize can add additional amounts to their standard deduction for a couple of situations: real estate taxes paid and sales tax paid on a new vehicle.


For property taxes, 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.

For new vehicle taxes, the state and local sales taxes paid on the first $49,500 of the auto's cost can be added to the standard deduction amount.


The property tax and vehicle sales tax amounts are reported on the new Schedule L.

In addition, filers who live in federal disaster areas also can increase their standard deduction by any net casualty losses. In these cases, affected taxpayers will have to complete Form 4684.

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