When You Can’t or Shouldn’t Claim the Standard Deduction

The higher standard deduction has some people thinking they can handle their own personal income-tax preparation. They may want to think again. For instance, you can’t use the standard deduction if you’re:

  • A married individual filing as married filing separately whose spouse itemizes deductions
  • Filing a tax return for less than 12 months because of a change in your annual accounting period
  • A nonresident alien or a dual-status alien during the year—unless you’re married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the year and choose to be treated as a U.S. resident for tax purposes
  • Filing as an estate or trust, common trust fund, or partnership

Even with standard deductions of $27,700 for 2023 and $29,200 for 2024, you may want to itemize deductions if you:

  • Had large uninsured medical and dental expenses
  • Paid interest and taxes on your home
  • Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses
  • Made large contributions to qualified charities

Your tax advisor can help you determine what’s best for you.