Federal Income Tax “Standard Deduction” How To Calculate?

Standard Deduction for Qualifying Widower is $9,700. How To Calculate

For federal income tax purposes, we will break down the Standard Deductions for Qualifying Individuals & Families

  • Standard Deduction: 
    • The standard deduction is a fixed dollar amount that reduces the amount of your income subject to federal income tax. It is a benefit available to most taxpayers and is designed to simplify the tax filing process. You can either choose to take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions (e.g., claiming specific eligible expenses such as medical expenses, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, etc.).
YearMarried filing jointly and surviving spousesSingle filers

Filing status

Qualifying Widow or Widower Status: To qualify for the standard deduction as a widow or widower, you must meet certain criteria:

  • You must be unmarried as of the end of the tax year.
  • You must be eligible to file a joint return with your spouse the year your spouse passed away (in other words, you were married at the time of your spouse’s death).
  • You must have a dependent child or stepchild for whom you can claim a dependency exemption. This child or stepchild must also have lived in your home for the entire tax year, except for temporary absences like school, vacation, etc.
  • Dollar Amount: The standard deduction amount changes each year due to inflation and adjustments made by tax laws. In this case, the standard deduction for qualifying widow or widower status is $9,700. This means that if you qualify as a widow or widower and choose not to itemize your deductions, you can deduct $9,700 from your taxable income.

For example, if your total income for the tax year is $50,000, and you qualify as a widow or widower, you can deduct $9,700 from that amount. Thus, your taxable income would be $40,300 ($50,000 – $9,700), and you would pay taxes based on this reduced income.

  • For 2010, the standard deduction for married taxpayers filing a joint return is $11,400, the same as in 2009. For single filers, the amount is $5,700 in 2010, up by $250 over 2009. Heads of household can claim $8,400 in 2010, up $50 from 2009.
  • The standard deduction increased by $100 from $6,200 to $6,300 for singles, and For married couples filing jointly, it increased by $200 from $12,400 to $12,600. The personal exemption for 2015 was $4,000.

What is the personal exemption amount for 2015?

For the 2015 tax year in the United States, the personal exemption amount was $4,000. The personal exemption was a fixed dollar amount that taxpayers could claim for themselves, their spouses (if married filing jointly), and eligible dependents. This amount was subtracted from the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) to arrive at their taxable income.

However, please note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) enacted in December 2017 eliminated the personal exemption starting in the 2018 tax year and onwards. Therefore, for tax years 2018 and beyond, taxpayers can no longer claim personal exemptions.

The standard deduction amounts for individual taxpayers in the United States for the tax years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 were as follows:


  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $6,300
  • Married Filing Jointly: $12,600
  • Head of Household: $9,300


  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $6,350
  • Married Filing Jointly: $12,700
  • Head of Household: $9,350


  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $12,000
  • Married Filing Jointly: $24,000
  • Head of Household: $18,000


  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $12,200
  • Married Filing Jointly : $24,400
  • Head of Household: $18,350

The standard deduction is an amount that reduces your taxable income, and it can be claimed by taxpayers who choose not to itemize their deductions. Please note that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed in December 2017 significantly increased the standard deduction amounts for tax years 2018 through 2025, while also eliminating or limiting many itemized deductions.

Standard Deductions for the tax years 2020 and 2021:


  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $12,400
  • Married Filing Jointly: $24,800
  • Head of Household: $18,650


  • Single or Married Filing Separately: $12,550
  • Married Filing Jointly: $25,100
  • Head of Household: $18,800

Standard Deduction Amounts for 2022 Taxes, Due April 2023

Filing StatusStandard Deduction 2022
Single; Married Filing Separately$12,950
Married Filing Jointly & Surviving Spouses$25,900
Head of Household$19,400

Standard deduction 2023 , due April 2024

Filing status2023 standard deduction
Married, filing separately$13,850.
Married, filing jointly; qualified widow/er$27,700.
Head of household$20,800.

Keep in mind that tax laws can change, so it’s essential to consult the latest tax guidelines and speak with a tax professional for the most up-to-date information and personalized advice.

We recommend checking the latest IRS guidelines or consulting a tax professional as the figures may have changed due to inflation adjustments or new tax laws.

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