Take Charge of Your Income Taxes

Be prepared for your taxes with our guide to understanding tax forms, the lingo, tax credits and our tips for finding deductions that can save you money.

Use the Standard Tax Deduction

Is this IRS-approved, reciept-free standard deduction right for you?

IF YOU ARE:Your standard deduction for the 2009 tax year is:As of 2010, if you own a home you can also take the standard property-tax deduction, up to:
Married filing jointly $11,400 $1,000
Single or married filing separately $5,700 $500
Head of household $8,350 $500


 * If no one can claim you as a dependent, the figure you fill out on line 5 of the 1040EZ form includes your personal exemption ($3650 per individual) along with the standard deduction.

The personal exemption is on every version of the 1040, whether you file an EZ form or itemize. As long as your adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than $166,800 (single filers), and $250,200 (married, filing jointly) you will receive it. You will not get extra money back by filing the EZ form.