The standard deduction for an individual who can be claimed as a
dependent on another person's tax return is generally limited to the
- $750, or
- The individual's earned income plus $250, but not more than
the regular standard deduction (generally $4,550).
However, the standard deduction for a dependent who is age 65
or older or blind is higher.
Certain dependents cannot claim any standard deduction. See
Standard Deduction of Zero, later.
Use Table 2 above to figure the dependent's standard
Table 2. Standard Deduction Worksheet for Dependents
Michael is single, age 15, and not blind. His parents can claim him
as a dependent on their tax return. He has taxable interest income of
$800 and wages of $150. He enters $400 (his earned income plus $250)
on line 1 of Table 2. On line 3, he enters $750, the larger
of $400 or $750. Michael enters $4,550 on line 4. On line 5a, he
enters $750, the smaller of $750 or $4,550. His standard deduction is
Judy, a full-time student, is single, age 22, and not blind. Her
parents can claim her as a dependent on their tax return. She has
dividend income of $275 and wages of $2,500. She enters $2,750 (her
earned income plus $250) on line 1 of Table 2. On line 3,
she enters $2,750, the larger of $2,750 or $750. She enters $4,550 on
line 4. On line 5a, she enters $2,750 (the smaller of $2,750 or
$4,550) as her standard deduction.
Amy, who is single, is claimed as a dependent on her parents' tax
return. She is 18 and blind. She has taxable interest income of $1,000
and wages of $2,000. She enters $2,250 (her earned income plus $250)
on line 1 of Table 2. She enters $2,250 (the larger of
$2,250 or $750) on line 3, $4,550 on line 4, and $2,250 (the smaller
of $2,250 or $4,550) on line 5a. Because Amy is blind, she checks the
box for blindness and enters "1" in box c at the top of
Table 2. She enters $1,100 (the number in box c times
$1,100) on line 5b . Her standard deduction on line 5c is $3,350
($2,250 + $1,100).
The standard deduction for the following dependents is zero.
- A married dependent filing a separate return whose spouse
- A dependent who files a return for a period of less than 12
months due to a change in his or her annual accounting period.
- A nonresident or dual-status alien dependent, unless the
dependent is married to a U.S. citizen or resident at the end of the
year and chooses to be treated as a U.S. resident for the year. See
U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for information
on making this choice.
Jennifer, who is a dependent of her parents, is entitled to file a
joint return with her husband. However, her husband elects to file a
separate return and itemize his deductions. Because he itemizes,
Jennifer's standard deduction on her return is zero. She can, however,
itemize any of her allowable deductions.
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