Deductions

Standard Deduction 2020

The standard deduction is the primary route for American taxpayers to reduce their taxable income. Only those who don’t itemize can claim the standard deduction. With an increased amount for 2020, more taxpayers are expected to claim the standard deduction.

For your 2019 taxes that you will pay in 2020, you can claim $12,400 in the standard deduction. Same as any other tax year, the couples who are filing their taxes together will get double this amount. The following table shows the standard deduction amounts for all filing statuses.

Filing StatusAmount ($)
Single$12,400
Married Filing Separately$12,400
Married Filing Jointly$24,800
Head of Household$18,650
Qualifying Widow(er)$24,800

This is a $200 increase from the previous year. Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 nearly doubled the standard deduction amount, there have been a steady $200 boost every year. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to expect a similar increase in future years. That’s, of course, assuming the tax law will not go under a significant change.

Any future tax changes highly depend on the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. Keep up with the changes from here.

Is it better to claim standard deduction than itemize?

The shortest answer to this common question is, it depends. Given the standard deduction amounts increase every year, it makes it more attractive to many taxpayers. You can opt for the standard deduction if your itemized deductions is close to $12,400. This will make your tax return much simpler and you’ll be able to complete your tax return much easier. Especially if your tax return is simple.

Overall, you should only itemize deductions if it exceeds the standard deduction amount. As mentioned above, if it is slightly above the standard deduction amount, you’re better off claiming the standard deduction and getting over with it.

One of the most common itemized deductions, the medical expenses threshold is increased to 10% of AGI from 7.5%. A larger portion of taxpayers is now definitely going to claim the standard deduction for reducing their taxable income.

Standard Deduction Amounts Year by Year

YearAmount ($)
2019Single: $12,200
Married Filing Jointly: $24,400
Head of Household: $18,350
2018Single: $12,000
Married Filing Jointly: $24,000
Head of Household: $18,000
2017Single: $6,350
Married Filing Jointly: $12,700
Head of Household: $9,350
2016Single: $6,300
Married Filing Jointly: $12,600
Head of Household: $9,300
2015Single: $6,300
Married Filing Jointly: $12,600
Head of Household: $9,250
2014Single: $6,200
Married Filing Jointly: $12,400
Head of Household: $9,100
2013Single: $6,100
Married Filing Jointly: $12,200
Head of Household: $8,950
2012Single: $5,950
Married Filing Jointly: $11,900
Head of Household: $8,700
2011Single: $5,800
Married Filing Jointly: $11,600
Head of Household: $8,500
2010Single: $5,700
Married Filing Jointly: $11,400
Head of Household: $8,400

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