Tax Breaks

What's the Standard Deduction for 2022 vs. 2021?

If you're planning ahead for next year's tax return, see if your 2022 standard deduction will be higher than it was for 2021.

Unless you requested a tax filing extension, you should be done with your 2021 tax return by now. But after taking a short break from taxes to clear your mind, it's a good idea to start thinking about your next federal income tax return now. Start with something basic – like the standard deduction.

You have a choice to make each year when filling out your federal income tax return: Do you claim the standard deduction or itemized deductions. You can't do both, so you want to pick whichever one is higher. But you can't determine which route is better for you unless you know how much your standard deduction is that year. It's different from year to year and from person to person.

The standard deduction amounts are adjusted annually for inflation, so your 2022 standard deduction will likely be larger than it was for 2021. In addition, if you have a net qualified disaster loss, your standard deduction may be higher (see below). On the other hand, if you're married but filing separate tax returns, you can't take the standard deduction if your spouse itemizes deductions. You can't claim it if you're a dual-status alien, either.

2022 Standard Deduction Amounts

So how much is the standard deduction worth? It depends on your filing status, whether you're 65 or older and/or blind, and whether another taxpayer can claim you as a dependent on their tax return. For 2022 tax returns, the standard deduction amounts will be as follows:

Filing Status

2022 Standard Deduction

Single; Married Filing Separately

$12,950

Married Filing Jointly; Surviving Spouse

$25,900

Head of Household

$19,400

Taxpayers who are at least 65 years old or blind will be able to claim an additional 2022 standard deduction of $1,400 ($1,750 if using the single or head of household filing status). If you're both 65 and blind, the additional deduction amount will be doubled.

If you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, your 2022 standard deduction will be limited to the greater of $1,150 or your earned income plus $400 (but the total can't be more than the basic standard deduction for your filing status).

2021 Standard Deduction Amounts

If you requested a filing extension for your 2021 tax return, then you'll still need the standard deduction amounts for the 2021 tax year. Or, perhaps, you just want to compare the 2021 amount with the 2022 figures to see how much more you'll get to deduct on next year's tax return. Whatever you need them for, the 2021 standard deduction information is below.

Filing Status

2021 Standard Deduction

Single; Married Filing Separately

$12,550

Married Filing Jointly

$25,100

Head of Household

$18,800

If you're at least 65 years old or blind, you can claim an additional standard deduction of $1,350 in 2021 ($1,700 if you're claiming the single or head of household filing status). As with the 2022 standard deduction, the additional deduction amount is doubled if you're both 65 or older and blind.

If you can be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return, your 2021 standard deduction is limited to the greater of $1,100 or your earned income plus $350 (again, the total can't be more than the basic standard deduction for your filing status).

Increased Standard Deduction for Certain Disaster Losses

If you have a net "qualified disaster loss," you can claim a larger standard deduction. A qualified disaster loss is a casualty or theft loss of personal-use property that is attributable to:

  • A major disaster declared by the President in 2016;
  • Hurricane Harvey;
  • Tropical Storm Harvey;
  • Hurricane Irma;
  • Hurricane Maria;
  • California wildfires in 2017 and January 2018;
  • A major disaster declared by the President between January 1, 2018, and February 18, 2020, if the loss occurred before January 19, 2020; or
  • A major disaster declared by the President before February 26, 2021, if the loss occurred between December 28, 2019, and December 27, 2020, and continued no later than January 26, 2021 (not including losses attributable to a major disaster declared only by reason of COVID-19).

You need to complete IRS Form 4684 to see if you have a net qualified disaster loss. For 2021 tax returns, enter the amount from Line 15 of Form 4684 on the dotted line next to Line 16 of Schedule A (Form 1040) if you do have a net qualified disaster loss. Also write "Net Qualified Disaster Loss," your standard deduction amount, and "Standard Deduction Claimed With Qualified Disaster Loss" on the dotted line (don't worry – it's a long line). Add the two amounts and enter the total on Line 16 of Schedule A and Line 12 of Form 1040 or 1040-SR. Don't enter an amount on any other line of Schedule A.

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