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2012 Tax Return Instructions

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2012 Tax Return Instructions

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The 2012 Tax Return Instructions

2012 tax return instructions 20. 2012 tax return instructions   Standard Deduction Table of Contents What's New Introduction Standard Deduction Amount Standard Deduction for Dependents Who Should ItemizeWhen to itemize. 2012 tax return instructions Married persons who filed separate returns. 2012 tax return instructions What's New Standard deduction increased. 2012 tax return instructions  The standard deduction for some taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) is higher for 2013 than it was for 2012. 2012 tax return instructions The amount depends on your filing status. 2012 tax return instructions You can use the 2013 Standard Deduction Tables in this chapter to figure your standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions Introduction This chapter discusses the following topics. 2012 tax return instructions How to figure the amount of your standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions The standard deduction for dependents. 2012 tax return instructions Who should itemize deductions. 2012 tax return instructions Most taxpayers have a choice of either taking a standard deduction or itemizing their deductions. 2012 tax return instructions If you have a choice, you can use the method that gives you the lower tax. 2012 tax return instructions The standard deduction is a dollar amount that reduces your taxable income. 2012 tax return instructions It is a benefit that eliminates the need for many taxpayers to itemize actual deductions, such as medical expenses, charitable contributions, and taxes, on Schedule A (Form 1040). 2012 tax return instructions The standard deduction is higher for taxpayers who: Are 65 or older, or Are blind. 2012 tax return instructions You benefit from the standard deduction if your standard deduction is more than the total of your allowable itemized deductions. 2012 tax return instructions Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions   Your standard deduction is zero and you should itemize any deductions you have if: Your filing status is married filing separately, and your spouse itemizes deductions on his or her return, You are filing a tax return for a short tax year because of a change in your annual accounting period, or You are a nonresident or dual-status alien during the year. 2012 tax return instructions You are considered a dual-status alien if you were both a nonresident and resident alien during the year. 2012 tax return instructions Note. 2012 tax return instructions If you are a nonresident alien who is married to a U. 2012 tax return instructions S. 2012 tax return instructions citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, you can choose to be treated as a U. 2012 tax return instructions S. 2012 tax return instructions resident. 2012 tax return instructions (See Publication 519, U. 2012 tax return instructions S. 2012 tax return instructions Tax Guide for Aliens. 2012 tax return instructions ) If you make this choice, you can take the standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions If an exemption for you can be claimed on another person's return (such as your parents' return), your standard deduction may be limited. 2012 tax return instructions See Standard Deduction for Dependents, later. 2012 tax return instructions Standard Deduction Amount The standard deduction amount depends on your filing status, whether you are 65 or older or blind, and whether an exemption can be claimed for you by another taxpayer. 2012 tax return instructions Generally, the standard deduction amounts are adjusted each year for inflation. 2012 tax return instructions The standard deduction amounts for most people are shown in Table 20-1. 2012 tax return instructions Decedent's final return. 2012 tax return instructions   The standard deduction for a decedent's final tax return is the same as it would have been had the decedent continued to live. 2012 tax return instructions However, if the decedent was not 65 or older at the time of death, the higher standard deduction for age cannot be claimed. 2012 tax return instructions Higher Standard Deduction for Age (65 or Older) If you are age 65 or older on the last day of the year and do not itemize deductions, you are entitled to a higher standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions You are considered 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. 2012 tax return instructions Therefore, you can take a higher standard deduction for 2013 if you were born before January 2, 1949. 2012 tax return instructions Use Table 20-2 to figure the standard deduction amount. 2012 tax return instructions Higher Standard Deduction for Blindness If you are blind on the last day of the year and you do not itemize deductions, you are entitled to a higher standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions Not totally blind. 2012 tax return instructions   If you are not totally blind, you must get a certified statement from an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) that: You cannot see better than 20/200 in the better eye with glasses or contact lenses, or Your field of vision is 20 degrees or less. 2012 tax return instructions   If your eye condition is not likely to improve beyond these limits, the statement should include this fact. 2012 tax return instructions You must keep the statement in your records. 2012 tax return instructions   If your vision can be corrected beyond these limits only by contact lenses that you can wear only briefly because of pain, infection, or ulcers, you can take the higher standard deduction for blindness if you otherwise qualify. 2012 tax return instructions Spouse 65 or Older or Blind You can take the higher standard deduction if your spouse is age 65 or older or blind and: You file a joint return, or You file a separate return and can claim an exemption for your spouse because your spouse had no gross income and cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 2012 tax return instructions You cannot claim the higher standard deduction for an individual other than yourself and your spouse. 2012 tax return instructions Examples The following examples illustrate how to determine your standard deduction using Tables 20-1 and 20-2. 2012 tax return instructions Example 1. 2012 tax return instructions Larry, 46, and Donna, 33, are filing a joint return for 2013. 2012 tax return instructions Neither is blind, and neither can be claimed as a dependent. 2012 tax return instructions They decide not to itemize their deductions. 2012 tax return instructions They use Table 20-1. 2012 tax return instructions Their standard deduction is $12,200. 2012 tax return instructions Example 2. 2012 tax return instructions The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that Larry is blind at the end of 2013. 2012 tax return instructions Larry and Donna use Table 20-2. 2012 tax return instructions Their standard deduction is $13,400. 2012 tax return instructions Example 3. 2012 tax return instructions Bill and Lisa are filing a joint return for 2013. 2012 tax return instructions Both are over age 65. 2012 tax return instructions Neither is blind, and neither can be claimed as a dependent. 2012 tax return instructions If they do not itemize deductions, they use Table 20-2. 2012 tax return instructions Their standard deduction is $14,600. 2012 tax return instructions Standard Deduction for Dependents The standard deduction for an individual who can be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return is generally limited to the greater of: $1,000, or The individual's earned income for the year plus $350 (but not more than the regular standard deduction amount, generally $6,100). 2012 tax return instructions However, if the individual is 65 or older or blind, the standard deduction may be higher. 2012 tax return instructions If you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, use Table 20-3 to determine your standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions Earned income defined. 2012 tax return instructions   Earned income is salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work you actually perform. 2012 tax return instructions    For purposes of the standard deduction, earned income also includes any part of a scholarship or fellowship grant that you must include in your gross income. 2012 tax return instructions See Scholarships and fellowships in chapter 12 for more information on what qualifies as a scholarship or fellowship grant. 2012 tax return instructions Example 1. 2012 tax return instructions Michael is single. 2012 tax return instructions His parents can claim an exemption for him on their 2013 tax return. 2012 tax return instructions He has interest income of $780 and wages of $150. 2012 tax return instructions He has no itemized deductions. 2012 tax return instructions Michael uses Table 20-3 to find his standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions He enters $150 (his earned income) on line 1, $500 ($150 + $350) on line 3, $1,000 (the larger of $500 and $1,000) on line 5, and $6,100 on line 6. 2012 tax return instructions His standard deduction, on line 7a, is $1,000 (the smaller of $1,000 and $6,100). 2012 tax return instructions Example 2. 2012 tax return instructions Joe, a 22-year-old full-time college student, can be claimed as a dependent on his parents' 2013 tax return. 2012 tax return instructions Joe is married and files a separate return. 2012 tax return instructions His wife does not itemize deductions on her separate return. 2012 tax return instructions Joe has $1,500 in interest income and wages of $3,800. 2012 tax return instructions He has no itemized deductions. 2012 tax return instructions Joe finds his standard deduction by using Table 20-3. 2012 tax return instructions He enters his earned income, $3,800 on line 1. 2012 tax return instructions He adds lines 1 and 2 and enters $4,150 on line 3. 2012 tax return instructions On line 5, he enters $4,150, the larger of lines 3 and 4. 2012 tax return instructions Because Joe is married filing a separate return, he enters $6,100 on line 6. 2012 tax return instructions On line 7a he enters $4,150 as his standard deduction because it is smaller than $6,100, the amount on line 6. 2012 tax return instructions Example 3. 2012 tax return instructions Amy, who is single, can be claimed as a dependent on her parents' 2013 tax return. 2012 tax return instructions She is 18 years old and blind. 2012 tax return instructions She has interest income of $1,300 and wages of $2,900. 2012 tax return instructions She has no itemized deductions. 2012 tax return instructions Amy uses Table 20-3 to find her standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions She enters her wages of $2,900 on line 1. 2012 tax return instructions She adds lines 1 and 2 and enters $3,250 on line 3. 2012 tax return instructions On line 5, she enters $3,250, the larger of lines 3 and 4. 2012 tax return instructions Because she is single, Amy enters $6,100 on line 6. 2012 tax return instructions She enters $3,250 on line 7a. 2012 tax return instructions This is the smaller of the amounts on lines 5 and 6. 2012 tax return instructions Because she checked one box in the top part of the worksheet, she enters $1,500 on line 7b. 2012 tax return instructions She then adds the amounts on lines 7a and 7b and enters her standard deduction of $4,750 on line 7c. 2012 tax return instructions Example 4. 2012 tax return instructions Ed is single. 2012 tax return instructions His parents can claim an exemption for him on their 2013 tax return. 2012 tax return instructions He has wages of $7,000, interest income of $500, and a business loss of $3,000. 2012 tax return instructions He has no itemized deductions. 2012 tax return instructions Ed uses Table 20-3 to figure his standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions He enters $4,000 ($7,000 - $3,000) on line 1. 2012 tax return instructions He adds lines 1 and 2 and enters $4,350 on line 3. 2012 tax return instructions On line 5 he enters $4,350, the larger of lines 3 and 4. 2012 tax return instructions Because he is single, Ed enters $6,100 on line 6. 2012 tax return instructions On line 7a he enters $4,350 as his standard deduction because it is smaller than $6,100, the amount on line 6. 2012 tax return instructions Who Should Itemize You should itemize deductions if your total deductions are more than the standard deduction amount. 2012 tax return instructions Also, you should itemize if you do not qualify for the standard deduction, as discussed earlier under Persons not eligible for the standard deduction . 2012 tax return instructions You should first figure your itemized deductions and compare that amount to your standard deduction to make sure you are using the method that gives you the greater benefit. 2012 tax return instructions You may be subject to a limit on some of your itemized deductions if your adjusted gross income is more than: $250,000 if single ($275,000 if head of household, $300,000 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); or $150,000 if married filing separately). 2012 tax return instructions See chapter 29 or the instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040) for more information on figuring the correct amount of your itemized deductions. 2012 tax return instructions When to itemize. 2012 tax return instructions   You may benefit from itemizing your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you: Do not qualify for the standard deduction, or the amount you can claim is limited, Had large uninsured medical and dental expenses during the year, Paid interest and taxes on your home, Had large unreimbursed employee business expenses or other miscellaneous deductions, Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses, Made large contributions to qualified charities, or Have total itemized deductions that are more than the standard deduction to which you otherwise are entitled. 2012 tax return instructions These deductions are explained in chapters 21–28. 2012 tax return instructions    If you decide to itemize your deductions, complete Schedule A and attach it to your Form 1040. 2012 tax return instructions Enter the amount from Schedule A, line 29, on Form 1040, line 40. 2012 tax return instructions Electing to itemize for state tax or other purposes. 2012 tax return instructions   Even if your itemized deductions are less than your standard deduction, you can elect to itemize deductions on your federal return rather than take the standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions You may want to do this if, for example, the tax benefit of itemizing your deductions on your state tax return is greater than the tax benefit you lose on your federal return by not taking the standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions To make this election, you must check the box on line 30 of Schedule A. 2012 tax return instructions Changing your mind. 2012 tax return instructions   If you do not itemize your deductions and later find that you should have itemized — or if you itemize your deductions and later find you should not have — you can change your return by filing Form 1040X, Amended U. 2012 tax return instructions S. 2012 tax return instructions Individual Income Tax Return. 2012 tax return instructions See Amended Returns and Claims for Refund in chapter 1 for more information on amended returns. 2012 tax return instructions Married persons who filed separate returns. 2012 tax return instructions   You can change methods of taking deductions only if you and your spouse both make the same changes. 2012 tax return instructions Both of you must file a consent to assessment for any additional tax either one may owe as a result of the change. 2012 tax return instructions    You and your spouse can use the method that gives you the lower total tax, even though one of you may pay more tax than you would have paid by using the other method. 2012 tax return instructions You both must use the same method of claiming deductions. 2012 tax return instructions If one itemizes deductions, the other should itemize because he or she will not qualify for the standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions See Persons not eligible for the standard deduction , earlier. 2012 tax return instructions 2013 Standard Deduction Tables If you are married filing a separate return and your spouse itemizes deductions, or if you are a dual-status alien, you cannot take the standard deduction even if you were born before January 2, 1949, or are blind. 2012 tax return instructions Table 20-1. 2012 tax return instructions Standard Deduction Chart for Most People* If your filing status is. 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions Your standard deduction is: Single or Married filing separately $6,100 Married filing jointly or Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child 12,200 Head of household 8,950 *Do not use this chart if you were born before January 2, 1949, are blind, or if someone else can claim you (or your spouse if filing jointly) as a dependent. 2012 tax return instructions Use Table 20-2 or 20-3 instead. 2012 tax return instructions Table 20-2. 2012 tax return instructions Standard Deduction Chart for People Born Before January 2, 1949, or Who are Blind Check the correct number of boxes below. 2012 tax return instructions Then go to the chart. 2012 tax return instructions You: Born before January 2, 1949 □ Blind □ Your spouse, if claiming spouse's exemption: Born before January 2, 1949 □ Blind □ Total number of boxes checked   IF  your filing status is. 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions AND the number in the box above is. 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions THEN your standard deduction is. 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions . 2012 tax return instructions Single 1 $7,600   2 9,100 Married filing jointly 1 $13,400 or Qualifying 2 14,600 widow(er) with 3 15,800 dependent child 4 17,000 Married filing 1 $7,300 separately 2 8,500   3 9,700   4 10,900 Head of household 1 $10,450   2 11,950 *If someone else can claim you (or your spouse if filing jointly) as a dependent, use Table 20-3 instead. 2012 tax return instructions Table 20-3. 2012 tax return instructions Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents Use this worksheet only if someone else can claim you (or your spouse if filing jointly) as a dependent. 2012 tax return instructions Check the correct number of boxes below. 2012 tax return instructions Then go to the worksheet. 2012 tax return instructions You:   Born before January 2, 1949 □ Blind □ Your spouse, if claiming spouse's exemption: Born before January 2, 1949 □ Blind □ Total number of boxes checked 1. 2012 tax return instructions Enter your earned income (defined below). 2012 tax return instructions If none, enter -0-. 2012 tax return instructions 1. 2012 tax return instructions   2. 2012 tax return instructions Additional amount. 2012 tax return instructions 2. 2012 tax return instructions $350 3. 2012 tax return instructions Add lines 1 and 2. 2012 tax return instructions 3. 2012 tax return instructions   4. 2012 tax return instructions Minimum standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions 4. 2012 tax return instructions $1,000 5. 2012 tax return instructions Enter the larger of line 3 or line 4. 2012 tax return instructions 5. 2012 tax return instructions   6. 2012 tax return instructions Enter the amount shown below for your filing status. 2012 tax return instructions Single or Married filing separately—$6,100 Married filing jointly—$12,200 Head of household—$8,950 6. 2012 tax return instructions   7. 2012 tax return instructions Standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions         a. 2012 tax return instructions Enter the smaller of line 5 or line 6. 2012 tax return instructions If born after January 1, 1949, and not blind, stop here. 2012 tax return instructions This is your standard deduction. 2012 tax return instructions Otherwise, go on to line 7b. 2012 tax return instructions 7a. 2012 tax return instructions     b. 2012 tax return instructions If born before January 2, 1949, or blind, multiply $1,500 ($1,200 if married) by the number in the box above. 2012 tax return instructions 7b. 2012 tax return instructions     c. 2012 tax return instructions Add lines 7a and 7b. 2012 tax return instructions This is your standard deduction for 2013. 2012 tax return instructions 7c. 2012 tax return instructions   Earned income includes wages, salaries, tips, professional fees, and other compensation received for personal services you performed. 2012 tax return instructions It also includes any amount received as a scholarship that you must include in your income. 2012 tax return instructions Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications