Each year, most taxpayers claim the standard deduction.
The amount is adjusted annually for inflation and varies depending upon a taxpayer's filing status. Married couples that file joint returns are given the biggest standard deduction, while couples opting to file separately get the smallest. In between are the amounts for single taxpayers and those who qualify for head-of-household status. And the standard deduction is increased a bit for blind and elderly taxpayers.
In this situation, the dependent filer must complete a worksheet found in the tax return instruction book to determine his or her precise standard deduction amount.
But most taxpayers who claim the standard deduction aren't bothered with this extra work. They simply get their tax return, find their standard deduction amount on the form and go from there.
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