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Standard deduction

A no-questions-asked write-off that reduces taxable income, the amount of which varies depending on your filing status. Taxpayers age 65 and older or blind get larger standard deductions. Unlike taxpayers who itemize deductions, you need no records to prove you deserve this deduction. Even if you somehow made it through the year without incurring any deductible expenses, you may still claim the full standard deduction. About two-thirds of all taxpayers use the standard deduction rather than itemize. Special rules can reduce the standard deduction for children who are claimed as dependents on their parents’ returns.