10 Tax Tips for Married Couples

Standard Deduction
The standardized deduction will save you time – but if your itemized deductions add up to more, it’s worth the extra work. © Bunwit/iStockphoto

Most people who own a house, paid a hefty amount of medical bills in one year or made a large charitable donation itemize these and other deductions on their federal tax returns. If this is you, have you ever considered using the standard deduction? If you take the standard deduction, you don't itemize, you just deduct $6,100 if you're single or married filing separately, or $12,200 if you're married filing jointly.

The way to know which deduction is best for you is to add up your itemized deductions. If they don't total the standard deduction, you will likely be better off taking the standard deduction. For married couples, you can take the $12,200 deduction even if only one spouse works. Keep in mind that if you file separately, you both must either itemize or take the standard deduction of $6,100 each. You can't take the standard deduction if your spouse itemizes, and vice versa.