This year the standard deduction for heads of household, according to IRS, is $9300. For single filers and married couples filing separately, it is $6300 and $12600 for jointly filing married couples.

Like anything, taking standard tax deductions has its pros and cons, which are discussed below.

Pros of Taking Standard Tax Deductions

If you like to keep things simple, then taking the standard tax deduction is a wise choice. The few advantages are

  1. It is easy, convenient and time-saving. Since it is a preset deduction, based on your taxable income, it is essentially an automatic process with no need to claim each and every deduction. It not only saves time, but it also saves you the trouble of providing additional documentation.
  2. Some individuals might actually qualify for bigger deductions, depend on their age, filing status and disability.
  3. You are allowed to take standard tax deductions, even if you don’t qualify to make itemized deductions.

Cons of Taking Standard Tax Deductions

Although, it is as simple as it seems but there are certain situations where taking standard tax deduction may not be the right choice for you. This include:

  1. If you are married and filing separately and your spouse is itemizing deductions, then you can’t claim a standard tax deduction.
  2. If you are a dual-status or non-resident alien, you are not eligible for standard tax deduction
  3. If you are a small business owner, claiming a standard tax deduction does not apply to you.
  4. The standard deductible amount might be lower than the amount you could deduct by itemizing.


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