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Standard Deduction 2023-2024: How Much It Is, When to Take It

The 2023 standard deduction for tax returns filed in 2024 is $13,850 for single filers, $27,700 for joint filers or $20,800 for heads of household. People 65 or older may be eligible for a higher amount.
Tina Orem
Sabrina Parys
By Sabrina Parys and  Tina Orem 
Updated
Reviewed by Lei Han

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The IRS gives you two major choices for lowering your taxable income: take the standard deduction or itemize. Most taxpayers opt for the standard deduction simply because it's less work than itemizing, but that doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone.

Here's a quick overview of what the standard deduction is, which taxpayers it works best for, and the standard deduction amounts for tax years 2023 and 2024. Plus, learn about the additional standard deduction amounts for those 65 and older and how to calculate it for dependents.

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What is the standard deduction?

The standard deduction is a specific dollar amount that the IRS lets you subtract from your adjusted gross income to lower the amount of income you get taxed on. How much of a standard deduction you're entitled to generally depends on your tax filing status.

Certain taxpayers, such as those who are blind or age 65 or older, usually get a higher standard deduction, sometimes called an additional standard deduction. On the other hand, if you can be claimed as a dependent, you may get a lower standard deduction.

Even if you have no other qualifying deductions or tax credits, the IRS lets most people take the standard deduction on a no-questions-asked basis. But there are a few situations that may disqualify some taxpayers from taking it.

Standard deduction example: A married couple filing their 2023 tax return jointly with an AGI of $125,000 is entitled to a standard deduction of $27,700. This tax break reduces their taxable income to $97,300 ($125,000 - $27,700).

» MORE: Learn more about the 2023-2024 tax brackets and rates

How the standard deduction works

You can either take the standard deduction or itemize on your tax return. The standard deduction is a blanket, guaranteed amount you can subtract from your AGI without having to prove anything to the IRS. Itemized deductions also reduce your taxable income — but in a different way.

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Itemized deductions are basically individual expenses allowed by the IRS that can decrease your taxable income. These expenses can include things like property taxes, certain unreimbursed medical costs or business mileage.

Taking the standard deduction means you can't deduct home mortgage interest or take certain types of tax breaks. But if you itemize, you should hang onto records supporting your deductions in case the IRS decides to audit you.

Standard deduction 2023

The 2023 standard deduction is $13,850 for single filers and those married filing separately, $27,700 for those married filing jointly, and $20,800 for heads of household. It is claimed on tax returns filed by April 2024.

Filing status

2023 standard deduction

Single

$13,850.

Married, filing separately

$13,850.

Married, filing jointly; qualified widow/er

$27,700.

Head of household

$20,800.

2024 standard deduction

For the 2024 tax year, single filers and those married filing separately are entitled to a $14,600 standard deduction, a $1,500 increase from 2023. Married joint filers can deduct $29,200, and heads of household can deduct $21,900. The 2024 standard deduction is taken on tax returns filed in 2025.

Filing status

2024 standard deduction

Single

$14,600.

Married, filing separately

$14,600.

Married, filing jointly; qualifying widow/er

$29,200.

Head of household

$21,900.

Additional standard deduction

People who are 65 or older and those who are considered blind by IRS definition are entitled to an additional standard deduction amount that they may add to their existing base standard deduction. How much extra depends on filing status and which conditions are applicable.

Additional standard deduction 2023 (taxes due 2024)

Single or head of household

65 or older or blind.

+ $1,850.

65 or older and blind.

+ $3,700.

Married filing jointly or married filing separately

65 or older or blind.

+ $1,500 (per qualifying individual).

65 or older and blind.

+ $3,000 (per qualifying individual).

Additional standard deduction 2024 (taxes due 2025)

Single or head of household

65 or older or blind.

+ $1,950.

65 or older and blind.

+ $3,900.

Married filing jointly or married filing separately

65 or older or blind.

+ $1,550 (per qualifying individual).

65 or older and blind.

+ $3,100 (per qualifying individual).

To be eligible for the age-based additional standard deduction, you must have turned 65 by the end of the tax year.

To qualify for the additional standard deduction for blindness, the IRS requires that you are either totally blind or have received a statement from an eye doctor confirming that you see less than 20/200 in your better-functioning eye or your field of vision is 20 degrees or fewer. You may also qualify if contact lenses are able to correct the above conditions, but you are unable to wear them due to pain or infection.

Standard deduction for dependents

If you're filing a tax return but are still being claimed as a dependent by someone else, your standard deduction depends on your earned income. For the 2023 tax year, you can either take a flat $1,250, or however much your earned income was, plus $400. If you take the second route, note that the final number can not exceed the standard deduction for your tax filing status.

For the 2024 tax year, the standard deduction for dependents rises to $1,300, or earned income plus $450, not to exceed the maximum standard deduction amount for that tax filing status.

Internal Revenue Service. Rev. Proc. 2022-38. Accessed Jun 20, 2023.

When can't you take the standard deduction?

The standard deduction is a welcome tax break for most — but there are a handful of situations where you may not be qualified to take it.

  • You are married filing separately, and your partner chooses to itemize. You must then also itemize.

  • You are filing a return as a trust, estate, or partnership.

  • Your return covers a period of less than a year because of accounting period changes.

  • You are considered a "nonresident alien" or "dual-status alien" of the U.S. (but there are some exceptions; see Publication 519).

    Internal Revenue Service. Topic No. 551, Standard Deduction. Accessed Apr 17, 2023.

How much is my 2023 standard deduction?

Use the calculator below to estimate your 2023 standard deduction, which applies to tax returns filed by April 15, 2024.

Before you begin, you should know your tax filing status. Also, note that this calculator does not help to estimate the standard deduction for dependents or those who may have a qualifying disaster loss to claim.

2023 vs. 2024 standard deduction

As you might have noticed, the standard deduction amounts for tax years 2023 and 2024 differ by several hundred dollars. That's because the IRS adjusts a number of tax provisions, including the standard deduction, each year to account for inflation. These annual inflation adjustments help to ensure that people continue to get value out of certain tax breaks as the cost of living rises.

This means, for example, that in 2024 (taxes filed in 2025), the standard deduction for single filers will increase by $750 and by $1,500 for those married filing jointly.

When to claim the standard deduction

If your standard deduction is less than your itemized deductions, you probably should itemize and save money. If your standard deduction is more than your itemized deductions, it might be worth it to take the standard and save some time.

Try this quick check. Although using the standard deduction is easier than itemizing, if you have a mortgage or home equity loan, it’s worth seeing if itemizing would save you money. Use the numbers you find on IRS Form 1098, the Mortgage Interest Statement (you typically get this from your mortgage company at the end of the year). Compare your mortgage interest deduction amount with the standard deduction.

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Consider other itemized deductions. Deciding whether to itemize also requires getting a bit cozy with the tax code. If you find that your life involves many other expenses that can be written off as itemized deductions, it's worth tallying those expenditures up to see if they could amount to larger savings. Examples of potentially eligible itemized deductions include:

Run the numbers both ways. If you’re using tax software, it’s probably worth the time to answer all the questions about itemized deductions that might apply to you. Why? The software (or your tax pro) can run your return both ways to see which method produces a lower tax bill. Even if you end up taking the standard deduction, at least you’ll know you’re coming out ahead.

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