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The Standard Deduction

The standard deduction is a fixed amount, based on your filing status, that reduces your taxable income. You can use either the standard deduction or your actual itemized deductions on Form 1040, but not both. The standard deduction for a single person or a married person filing separately for 2019 increased to $12,200. Married couples filing jointly have a standard deduction of exactly twice as much as a single person's, at $24,400. If you file as a head of household, your standard deduction is $18,350.


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You can make better use of your money by keeping it in your control all year.

If you have high interest credit card debt, you're better off using the money to pay off that debt as soon as possible. If you have an emergency, your money should be someplace where you can access it if you need to.If you use overwithholding as a kind of forced savings plan, consider other automatic savings plans that give you a better return and let you keep your own money. You can have your employer deduct some of your pay for a retirement plan, or deposit it directly into savings for you. Or you can set up an automatic online plan for investing or transferring to a savings account.Some people hesitate to lower their income tax withholding because they're afraid they might end up owing money when they file their taxes. They'd rather shortchange themselves all year than possibly end up with a bill at tax time.You don't have to choose between having way too much withheld or worrying about owing taxes at the end of the year. Using the Form W-4 Withholding section, you can make sure your income tax withholding more closely matches the amount you owe the IRS when you file.